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PEORIA – On average, there's one reported dog bite per day in Peoria. So far this year, there are 67 cases of reported dog attacks on humans in the city of Peoria.
PEORIA – On average, there's one reported dog bite per day in Peoria. So far this year, there are 67 cases of reported dog attacks on humans in the city of Peoria.
Wednesday, Councilwoman Beth Akeson led a public forum on possible changes to the city’s animal owner ordinances.  
“If we're going to be really good at writing policy especially in the health and safety arena, we have to do it based on data,” Akeson said.
In 2012, 73 dogs were labeled “vicious,” or in which owners gave up their dogs to be euthanized. The number is 50 more cases than 2011.
Now, residents want changes to the city ordinance to keep owners responsible, including tethering laws. One proposal would prohibit tethering entirely, unless the owner is standing with the dog. The other idea would set specific conditions for tethering an animal.
Also, if an owner violates the rules three times in three years, he or she would lose the right to own or possess an animal for three years. Residents say an ordinance change is a good idea, but stricter punishment without education will not work.
"We have to be responsible people in order to know how to react to these animals, what to do what not to do,” said resident Debra Yang.
Akeson says nearly thirty percent of all attacks in the city involve pit bulls, and the average hospital cost for people with dog bites is more than $18,000. Another forum will be held at Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Neighborhood House in Peoria.
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