Dangerous Dog Barking

Dangerous Dogs – What is a Crime?

Dogs are known as “man’s best friend”, but some are not as friendly and trustworthy as others.

According to the Center For Disease Control or CDC, there are approximately 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs each year. The majority of dog attack victims are children ages 5 to 9, most of which require medical treatment. While most dog attacks are not predictable and no one’s fault, some occur due to the owner’s negligence. In some cases, dog owners face criminal charges if they had prior knowledge their dog was dangerous to the public. If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime because your dog attacked someone, you may need a bail bondsman to get out of jail until trial.

What Is The Definition Of Dangerous Dogs?

The law has put in place guidelines to keep the public safe from dogs who are considered dangerous. The law defines dangerous as something that carries an increased or unacceptable risk of injury. A dog can be considered dangerous by:

  • It’s Breed
  • Prior Actions
  • Prior Actions Of The Owner

A dog can be classified as dangerous either before or after a hearing. If a dog has been found to carry an increased risk of attack and is classified as dangerous, the owner’s may be required to take certain steps to keep the public safe.

What Will The Owner Have To Do To Comply With The Law?

If a dog is deemed dangerous, the owner may be required to:

  • Keep It Confined And Away From The Public
  • Muzzle The Dog Anytime It Is Out In Public
  • Euthanize The Dog After An Attack If Required

Dangerous Or Vicious?

The law makes a distinction between a dog that is considered dangerous and one that is vicious. A dangerous dog is one that:

  • Carries A Higher Risk Of Injury Due To It’s Breed
  • One That Bites
  • Dogs That Jump Excessively And Are Large Enough To Cause Harm
  • Dogs With A Prior History Of Chasing People Or Animals

A dog that is classified as vicious has:

  • Shown Aggressive Behavior To The Public When Unprovoked
  • Has A History Of Biting Other Animals Or Humans
  • One That Has Injured People Or Animals Previously By Chasing Or Biting

In states with dangerous dog laws, owners may be fined or jailed if they do not comply with the law and have the dog confined, removed or destroyed if ordered to do so by the court.

States That Have Dangerous Dog Laws

Dangerous dog laws do not exist in every state in the U.S. Below are the states that currently have dangerous dog laws in place:

  • Arizona
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • Michigan
  • Delaware
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • District Of Columbia
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Florida
  • Nebraska
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Hawaii
  • New Hampshire
  • Tennessee
  • Idaho
  • New Jersey
  • Texas
  • Illinois
  • New Mexico
  • Vermont
  • Kentucky
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • Washington
  • Maine
  • North Dakota
  • West Virginia

Other states may have guidelines regarding dangerous dog laws, but do not have laws making it illegal to keep a dog that is considered dangerous. However, that does not mean that dog owners who have dogs that injure someone seriously, will not face criminal charges if an accident occurs especially if the dog has bitten someone in a previous incident.

Penalties

The penalties for owners of dangerous dogs vary from state-to-state. In some states, those who are found guilty of possessing a dangerous or vicious dog may be guilty of a misdemeanor, which can mean up to 1 year in the county jail.

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