Pet Regulations: Are There Dangerous Animal Laws in PA?

Categories: Safety Tips

All states have some laws in place that regulate dangerous dogs and prevent those animals from attacking people in the future. However, every state is different with how they classify a “dangerous” animal.

In the state of Pennsylvania, there are dangerous animal laws.

Under the statute, a dangerous dog is one that has:

  • Injured another human or animal severely without provocation on private or public property;
  • Killed or inflicted injury on another domestic animal without provocation;
  • Attacked a human with no provocation;
  • Been used in the past to commit a crime.

Lastly, the dog must meet one of two requirements. The dog must have a history of attacking without provocation or have a propensity to attack others in the future.

The “propensity” can be determined in a single act and does not necessarily require a history of violent behavior.

The Provisions of the Dangerous Dog Rules

The state does have several provisions in the law, which include the exclusion of police animals, hearing dogs, and guide dogs.

If the victim provokes the animal, trespasses on another person’s private property, or incited the event, the dog’s owner is not liable and the dog itself is not deemed “dangerous.”

What Does an Owner Have to Do if They Have a Dangerous Dog?

Once an owner’s dog is deemed dangerous, they have multiple requirements by the state that they must comply with or face criminal penalties. A dog that is considered dangerous is registered with the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and must be re-registered annually.

Registration for a dangerous dog is $500 per year. Therefore, many owners of these dogs fail to register their animals. The failure to register is proof enough of the owner’s irresponsible behavior when the dangerous dog attacks again.

Furthermore, dog owners of “dangerous” animals must:

  • Keep the dog in an enclosed space.
  • Use a muzzle when the dog is taken out into the public.
  • Spay or neuter the dog.
  • Add a microchip to the animal.
  • Have a surety bond with a minimum amount of $50,000.
  • Notify law enforcement if the dog becomes lost or loose.

Your Legal Options When a Dangerous Dog Injures You

After an attack by a dangerous or vicious animal, you may be entitled to compensation. It is best that you speak with an attorney that has experience with dog attack cases in the state.

Attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. is here to help you with your case. Whether you knew the animal or not, you have the right to hold the owner accountable for the actions of their dangerous animal.

To get started, speak with Jeffrey H. Penneys by calling him on his cell at 215-771-0430, toll-free at 800-465-8795, or at the office at 215-987-3550. For questions, you can connect with his office online.