Vancouver city council has endorsed a staff report that would boost fines for owners of vicious dogs – if those dogs attack anyone.

A pit bull (AP photo)
The report recommends higher fines for offending dog owners, more enforcement and a public education campaign.

The new penalties will be set at a later date.

Many of the people who spoke to council at Thursday's meeting were angry that specific breeds were being singled out.

But Vancouver city councillor Tim Stevenson, who initiated the crackdown, says he gets many calls from people who say they've been attacked by pit bulls.

"You know what's not being said today is by the victims. I've had many people call me who have been victims of dog attacks, and it is life-changing for them," he says.

The report says trying to ban pit bulls wouldn't work, partly because the provincial government hasn't addressed the issue. So council is writing to Attorney General Geoff Plant to ask for dangerous dog legislation.