New Mexico House Rejects Mandate on Owners of Dangerous Dogs

March 16, 2009

The New Mexico House rejected a proposal that would have required owners of dangerous dogs to obtain liability insurance to cover damages or injuries caused by the animals.

The legislation, HB667, would have updated a law enacted in 2005 to protect New Mexicans from dogs determined to be dangerous or potentially dangerous.

Opponents objected to a proposal that would have forced owners of dangerous dogs to have $100,000 worth of liability insurance. They expressed doubts that some owners would buy the insurance coverage.

Rep. Don Tripp, R-Socorro, said the owners of dangerous dogs were the problem.

“Maybe we should put some of them on a leash. I think that it would be more effective,” said Tripp.

Supporters said dog owners should be held liable for the actions of their animals.

Rep. Kathy McCoy, R-Cedar Crest, said the legislation would “send a message to irresponsible animal owners that they must take responsible for these dangerous dogs.”

The bill failed 34-31.

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