In 2007, in the shadow of a tragic fatal dog attack (involving a young boy that was mauled by a female dog that was chained up in the family's basement with her litter of puppies) in Minneapolis, the city began looking at making changes that would improve public safety in the community.
Their law, which you can find in its entirety here (64:110), sets up two different criteria of dogs based on the bahavior of the dogs. "Potentially dangerous" dags are ones that, while unprovoked, inflict a minor injury on a person or domestic animal or a "known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked". Danerous" animals are ones that inflict fairly substantial wounds.
The law also prohibits dogs that are declared dangerous (based on behavior) from being owned by violent folons.
I've discussed the ordinance before, but new numbers make talking about it worth repeating.
In 2005, Minneapolis has 481 total bites in the city. In 2007, Minneapolis had 411 total bites. In 2008, the first full year with the ordinance, numbers dropped to 360 total bites. In 2009 they had "just over 300".
The number of "serious" (defined by the bite breaking the skin) dog bites dropped 19% in 2008 and another 35% in 2009 - from 140 "serious" bites in 2007, to 113 in 2008, and 74 in 2009.
It isn't uncommon after a significant dog attack for cities to re-look at their dangerous dog laws. All too often they seem to focus on "what other cities have done" vs what has actually been effective at solving the problem. There is also a tendency to do something knee jerk (like a breed ban) that is based on what they think the public wants vs doing the research necessary to figure out what will actually solve the problem.
Repeatedly, laws that target chronically irresponsible pet owners and define dangerous dogs based solely on the behavior of the dog have proven to be effective an minimizing dog bites in communities. We need to learn from these successes and promote similar legislation and enforcement techniques that actually WORK for the betterment of animals and the community.