A state lawmaker wants to keep convicted felons from using vicious dogs as weapons.

Legislation from state Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) would ban felons from owning a vicious dog or living in a home where one is present. The Green Bay Democrat says it’s an issue of public safety, with police reporting a growing number of cases where they’ve entered the residence of a felon only to find a dangerous animal present.

Hansen says many felons have turned to vicious dogs as another type of weapon, since it’s already illegal for them to own a gun. He says the animals are used to guard illegal activities or to intimidate victims.

Local animal control officials would determine if a dog is considered vicious and the bill does not identify any specific breeds. It also allows the owner to appeal the designation.

Similar legislation was approved in the state Senate last session, but failed to get a vote in the Assembly.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:58)

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