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Knox sheriff launches Dangerous Dog Map

10:39 AM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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The Knox County Sheriff's Office is putting a twist on the traditional interactive crime map.

Thursday, they launched a Dangerous Dog Map on their website. It's the same idea as a sex offender map, but instead lists dogs that a judge has deemed to be dangerous.

The map shows exactly where the dog lives, what they look like, and what offense they committed.

It only features dogs cited by the court and found guilty of aggression, biting, or killing another animal found in the Knox County Dangerous Dog ordinance 671.

But one dog owner who is on this list says her dog does not belong there.

Vernita Law says her boxer, Sassy, is a sweet, loving dog.

"She's not a pet, just a part of the family," said Law.

A judge cited Sassy for aggression in November. Since then she has paid the fines and followed the strict rules associated with it.

Sassy is one of 13 dogs on the database.

"We felt responsible to tell the public about dogs that were classified as dangerous," said Knox County Sheriff's Office Captain Robert Hubbs.

Capt. Hubbs said many times offenders do not comply with rules and allow the dogs to run free after the dog has been cited. He said that can put neighbors in danger.

"It's not just about that dog and that individual. It extends to the kids in the neighbor to other animals. Bottom line, we don't want anyone else bit. We don't want anyone else's animal killed," he said.

It's a concept that Law agrees is important.

"People have a right to know if something is dangerous in their neighborhood," said Law.

But Law said the information about her dog on the website is wrong. The map says Sassy bit someone. But Law says neither the police report nor the victim ever said she bit anyone, only that she seemed aggressive.

"Sassy shouldn't be on there, she's not a dangerous dog," said Law.

Only dangerous dogs in Knox County, but outside the city limits, are on the map.

Capt. Hubbs said an increase in dog bites led the department to look into the database. Other major cities including Dallas and Orlando have similar maps.

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