We at RDR have been saying for years how important it is to know your rights as a dog owner. Even though we’d like to think that all local animal control divisions would never bully or scare you into thinking that something was the truth when it clearly is not, it does happen. Please educate yourself. Start by understanding the dangerous and vicious dog ordinances. Here are a few of the highlights you need to know:
- “Dangerous dog” means a canine or canine crossbreed that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat.
- “Vicious dog” means a canine or canine crossbreed that has: (i) killed a person; (ii) inflicted serious injury to a person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of a bodily function; or (iii) continued to exhibit the behavior that resulted in a previous finding by a court or, on or before July 1, 2006, by an animal control officer as authorized by ordinance, that it is a dangerous dog, provided that its owner has been given notice of that finding.
- When a dog attacks or bites a companion animal that is a dog or cat, the attacking or biting dog shall not be deemed dangerous: (i) if no serious physical injury as determined by a licensed veterinarian has occurred to the dog or cat as a result of the attack or bite; (ii) if both animals are owned by the same person; (iii) if such attack occurs on the property of the attacking or biting dog’s owner or custodian; or (iv) for other good cause as determined by the court. No dog shall be found to be a dangerous dog as a result of biting, attacking, or inflicting injury on a dog or cat while engaged with an owner or custodian as part of lawful hunting or participating in an organized, lawful dog handling event. No dog that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person shall be found to be a dangerous dog if the court determines, based on the totality of the evidence before it, that the dog is not dangerous or a threat to the community.
- Any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer who has reason to believe that a canine or canine crossbreed within his jurisdiction is a dangerous dog or vicious dog shall apply to a magistrate serving the jurisdiction for the issuance of a summons requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before a general district court at a specified time.
This means DO NOT mean you have to sign your dog over to animal control immediately after an incident!!