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What is a Dangerous Dog? 

Any dog that, according to the records of county animal services and enforcement:

(1) Has, aggressively bitten, attacked, or endangered a human being, or has inflicted severe injury on a human being on public or private property; or

(2) Has, more than once, severely injured or killed a domestic animal while off the owner’s property; or

(3) Has been used primarily, or in part, for the purpose of fighting, or is a dog trained for dog fighting; or

(4) Has, without provocation, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in an aggressive, menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; provided that such actions are attested to in a sworn statement by one or more persons, and dutifully investigated by the appropriate authority.

(5) A dog shall not be declared dangerous if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was unlawfully on the property or, while lawfully on the property, was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or its owner or a family member.

(6) No dog may be declared dangerous if the dog was protecting or defending a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault.

If Animal Services finds sufficient cause to declare a dog as “Dangerous”, the owner is notified in writing. At this point the owner has three options:

1) Appeal the notice of sufficient cause to the Dangerous Dog Council, who will hold a hearing and either accept or rescind the declaration (note: if the Council accepts the sufficient cause findings, the owner may appeal their decision to the County Court); or

2) Comply with the Dangerous Dog Restrictions (listed at the bottom of the page); or

3) Sign the dog over to Animal Services and Enforcement.

To comply with the Dangerous Dog Restrictions a dog owner must have:

1) A current certificate of rabies vaccination and animal license tag for the dog.

2) A locked, secure enclosure to confine the dangerous dog, and the posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign at all entry points that informs both children and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property.

3) Proof of permanent identification of the dangerous dog, such as a tattoo or an electronic implantation, as specified by the Animal Services and Enforcement Director, within twenty-four (24) hours of release.

(4) Payment of the applicable annual fee for the issuance of certificate of registration required by this section. The annual fee shall be established by resolution of the Board.

(6) The owner shall obtain a dangerous dog tag from the Animal Services and Enforcement Director or designee that shall be worn by the dog at all times. The purpose of the tag shall be to provide immediate identification to Animal Services and Enforcement and the public that the dog has been declared dangerous.

More questions about dangerous dogs?

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