The following is an excerpt from Pennsylvania's 'Dog Law'. Here's the link to the full document




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The following is an excerpt from

Pennsylvania's 'Dog Law'.
Here's the link to the full document:

http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stuspa3ps459_502.htm
The pertinent section within the above link is:

Dog Bites/Dangerous Dogs, Dogs As Nuisance - Authority to Kill

(459-501 -- 459-507-A)

§ 459-501. Killing dogs; dogs as nuisances

(a) Legal to kill certain dogs.--Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal, wounding or killing other dogs, cats or household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings, whether or not such a dog bears the license tag required by the provisions of this act. There shall be no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.

(b) Private nuisance.--Any dog that enters any field or enclosure where domestic animals are confined, provided that the enclosure is adequate for the purpose intended, shall constitute a private nuisance, and the owner or tenant of such field, or their agent or servant, may detain such dog and turn it over to the local police authority or State dog warden or employee of the department. While so detained, the dog shall be treated in a humane manner.

(c) Licensed dogs not included.--Licensed dogs, when accompanied by their owner or handler, shall not be included under the provisions of this section unless caught in the act of pursuing, wounding or killing any domestic animal, wounding or killing any dogs, cats or household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings.

(d) Repealed. 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, effective in 60 days.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V, § 501, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 11, effective in 60 days.

 

§ 459-502. Dog bites; detention and isolation of dogs



 

(a) Confinement.--Any dog which bites or attacks a human being shall be confined in quarters approved by a designated employee of the Department of Health, a State dog warden or employee of the Department of Agriculture, an animal control officer or a police officer. The dog may be detained and isolated in an approved kennel or at the dog owner's property or at another [FN1] location approved by the investigating officer. Where the dog is detained is at the discretion of the investigating officer. All dogs so detained must be isolated for a minimum of ten days. Any costs incurred in the detaining and isolation of the dog shall be paid by the offending dog's owner or keeper or both. If the dog's owner or keeper is not known, the Commonwealth is responsible for all reasonable costs for holding and detaining the dog.



(b) Bite victims.--The following shall apply:

(1) The investigating officer shall be responsible for notifying the bite victim of the medical results of the offending dog's confinement. Any cost to the victim for medical treatment resulting from an attacking or biting dog must be paid fully by the owner or keeper of the dog. The Commonwealth shall not be liable for medical treatment costs to the victim.

(2)(i) For the purpose of this subsection, the term “medical results of the offending dog's confinement” shall mean, except as provided in subparagraph (ii), information as to whether the quarantined dog is still alive and whether it is exhibiting any signs of being infected with the rabies virus.

(ii) If a nonlethal test for rabies is developed, the term shall mean the results of the test and not the meaning given in subparagraph (i).



(c) Exception.--When a dog that bites or attacks a human being is a service dog or a police work dog in the performance of duties, the dog need not be confined if it is under the active supervision of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V, § 502, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 12, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 14, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] “or to another” in enrolled bill.


 

§ 459-501-A. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days



 

§ 459-502-A. Court proceedings, certificate of registration and disposition



(a) Summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog.--Any person who has been attacked by one or more dogs, or anyone on behalf of the person, a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation, the State dog warden or the local police officer may file a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owner or keeper of the a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be guilty of the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog if the magisterial district judge finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the following elements of the offense have been proven:

(1) The dog has done any of the following:

(i) Inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property.

(ii) Killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal, dog or cat without provocation while off the owner's property.

(iii) Attacked a human being without provocation.

(iv) Been used in the commission of a crime.

(2) The dog has either or both of the following:

(i) A history of attacking human beings and/or domestic animals, dogs or cats without provocation.

(ii) A propensity to attack human beings and/or domestic animals, dogs or cats without provocation. A propensity to attack may be proven by a single incident of the conduct described in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv).

(3) The defendant is the owner or keeper of the dog.



(a.1) Effect of conviction.--A finding by a magisterial district judge that a person is guilty under subsection (a) of harboring a dangerous dog shall constitute a determination that the dog is a dangerous dog for purposes of this act.

(b) Report of conviction.--The magisterial district judge shall make a report of a conviction under subsection (a) to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, identifying the convicted party, identifying and describing the dog or dogs and providing other information as the bureau might reasonably require.

(c) Certificate of registration required.--It is unlawful for an owner or keeper to have a dangerous dog without a certificate of registration issued under this article. This article shall not apply to dogs used by law enforcement officials for police work, certified guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf nor aid dogs for the handicapped.

(d) Disposition of dog during court proceedings.--An owner or keeper of any dog who has been charged with harboring a dangerous dog shall keep the dog or dogs confined in a proper enclosure or, when off the property of the owner or keeper for purposes of veterinary care, muzzled and on a leash until the time a report is made under subsection (b). If an appeal of a decision under subsection (b) is filed, the dog or dogs shall remain so confined until the proceedings are completed. It shall be unlawful for an owner or keeper of a dog who has been charged with harboring a dangerous dog to dispense, move, sell, offer to sell, give away or transfer the dog in any manner except to have it humanely killed or move the dog to a licensed kennel if approved by the investigating officer. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a summary offense accompanied by a fine of not less than $500.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 502-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 14, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

§ 459-503-A. Requirements



(a) Certificate of registration requirements.--The owner or keeper of a dog who has been convicted of harboring a dangerous dog shall keep the dog properly confined and shall register the dog with the department. Within 30 days of receiving written notification from the department that the dog has been determined to be dangerous, the owner or keeper of the dog shall comply with all the provisions of this section. The department shall issue, upon sufficient evidence of compliance with the requirements of this section and payment of all fees under subsection (b), a certificate of registration to the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog.

(a.1) Compliance requirements.--The owner or keeper of a dog who has been convicted of harboring a dangerous dog shall do all of the following:

(1) Present sufficient evidence of a proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog and the posting of a premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog.

(2) Pay court-ordered restitution to a victim of a dangerous dog.

(3) Permanently identify the dangerous dog by having a microchip implanted in the dangerous dog. The microchip shall be implanted by a properly licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, and the costs shall be borne by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dangerous dog and the veterinarian implanting the microchip shall sign a form, developed by the department, verifying the dangerous dog has had a microchip implanted and setting forth the microchip number.

(4) Have the dangerous dog spayed or neutered. The spaying or neutering shall be done by a properly licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, and the costs shall be borne by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dangerous dog and the veterinarian performing the spaying or neutering shall sign a form, developed by the department, verifying the dangerous dog has been spayed or neutered.

(5) Obtain:

(i) a surety bond in the amount of $50,000 issued by an insurer authorized to do business within this Commonwealth, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog; or

(ii) a policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner's insurance, issued by an insurer authorized to do business within this Commonwealth in the amount of at least $50,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog. The policy shall contain a provision requiring the secretary to be named as additional insured for the sole purpose of being notified by the insurance company of cancellation, termination or expiration of the liability insurance policy.



(b) Registration fee.--The registration fee for a dangerous dog certificate shall be $500 per calendar year for the life of the dog plus an additional amount set by the department as may be necessary to cover the costs of issuing this registration and enforcing this section. This registration fee shall be in addition to any other fees collectable under this act and shall be credited to the Dog Law Restricted Account for the purpose of administering and enforcing this act.

(c) Uniform identifiable symbol.--The department shall have the authority to establish a uniform identifiable symbol for visual recognition of dangerous dogs.

(d) Other requirements.--The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog shall :

(1) The owner shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance required by this section during the period for which licensing is sought unless the owner ceases to own the dangerous dog prior to expiration of the license.

(2) The owner or keeper shall notify the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, the State dog warden and the local police department within 24 hours if a dangerous dog is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal, has attacked a human being, has died or has been sold or donated. If the dangerous dog has been sold or donated, the owner shall also provide the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and the State dog warden with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner or new address of the dangerous dog.

(3) The new owner or keeper of the dangerous dog shall be required to comply with all of the provisions of this act and regulations pertaining to a dangerous dog.


CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 503-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 15, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-504-A. Control of dangerous dogs



It is unlawful for an owner or keeper of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside the proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal or from destroying property with its teeth.
CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 504-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 15, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

 

 


§ 459-505-A. Public safety and penalties




(a) Failure to register and restrain.--The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog who violates any of the following provisions on the first occurrence commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if:

(1) The dangerous dog is not validly registered under this act.

(2) The owner or keeper of the dangerous dog fails to comply with the provisions of section 503-A or 504-A. [FN1]

(3) The dangerous dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure.

(4) The dangerous dog is outside of the dwelling of the owner or keeper or outside of the proper enclosure and not under physical restraint of the responsible person.

(5) The dog is outside the dwelling of the owner without a muzzle, regardless of whether the dog is physically restrained by a leash.



(6) The dog is outside the dwelling of the owner or a proper enclosure without a muzzle and unsupervised, regardless of whether the dog is physically restrained by a leash.

(a.1) Subsequent violations.--The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog who commits a subsequent violation under subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and, upon conviction, shall pay a fine not to exceed $5,000, plus the costs of quarantine, kennel charges and destruction of the dangerous dog. The dangerous dog shall be forfeited immediately by the owner or keeper to a dog warden or police officer and shall be placed in a kennel or, if necessary, quarantined for a length of time to be determined by the department. After a period of ten days, if no appeal has been filed and the necessary quarantine period has elapsed, the dangerous dog shall be destroyed humanely in an expeditious manner. If an appeal is filed, the dangerous dog shall remain confined at the owner's or keeper's expense until the proceedings are completed.

(a.2) Utilization of fines.--All fines collected under this section shall be deposited into the Dog Law Restricted Account and may be utilized to pay the expenses of the department in administering its duties under this act.

(a.3) Collection.--In cases of inability to collect the fine assessed or failure of any person to pay all or a portion of the fine, the secretary may refer the matter to the Office of Attorney General, which shall institute an action in the appropriate court to recover the fine.

(b) Attacks by dangerous dog.--If a dangerous dog, through the intentional, reckless or negligent conduct of the dog's owner or keeper, attacks a person or a domestic animal, dog or cat, the dog's owner or keeper shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. In addition, the dangerous dog shall be immediately seized by a dog warden or police officer and placed in quarantine for a length of time to be determined by the department. After a period of ten days, if no appeal has been filed by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog, and after the quarantine period has expired, the dangerous dog shall be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper. If an appeal is filed, the dangerous dog shall remain confined at the owner's or keeper's expense until the proceedings are completed and, if found guilty of the cited offense, the dangerous dog shall thereafter be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper.

(c) Attacks causing severe injury or death.--The owner or keeper of any dog that, through the intentional, reckless or negligent conduct of the dog's owner or keeper, aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of any human shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. In addition, the dog shall be immediately confiscated by a State dog warden or a police officer and placed in quarantine for a length of time to be determined by the department. After a period of ten days, if no appeal has been filed by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog, and after the quarantine period has expired, the dangerous dog shall be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper. If an appeal is filed, the dangerous dog shall remain confined at the owner's or keeper's expense until the proceedings are completed and, if found guilty of the cited offense, the dangerous dog shall be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper.

(d) Dog owned by a minor.--If the owner of the dangerous dog is a minor, the parent or guardian of the minor shall be liable for injuries and property damages caused by an unprovoked attack by the dangerous dog under section 4 of the former act of July 27, 1967 (P.L. 186, No. 58), [FN2] entitled “An act imposing liability upon parents for personal injury, or theft, destruction, or loss of property caused by the willful, tortious acts of children under eighteen years of age, setting forth limitations, and providing procedure for recovery.”

(e) Mandatory reporting.--

(1) All known incidents of dog attacks shall be reported to the State dog warden, who shall investigate each incident and notify the department if a dog has been determined to be dangerous.

(2) A State dog warden or police officer who has knowledge of a dog which has attacked a person shall file a written report summarizing the circumstances of the attack with the police in the municipality where the owner of the dog resides or if the attack occurred outside the owner's municipality of residence, with the police having jurisdiction in the municipality where the attack occurred. The report shall be available for public inspection.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 505-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] 3 P.S. §§ 459-503-A, 459-504-A.

[FN2] 11 P.S. § 2004 (repealed); see now, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5505.

 

§ 459-506-A. State registry



The department shall promulgate regulations for the establishment of a State registry for dangerous dogs.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 506-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days.

 

§ 459-507-A. Construction of article



(a) Enforcement.--This article shall be enforced by all municipalities except counties.


(b) Abusive or unlawful conduct of victim.--This article shall not apply if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.


(c) Local ordinances.--Those provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. A local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.


(d) Insurance coverage discrimination.--No liability policy or surety bond issued pursuant to this act or any other act may prohibit coverage from any specific breed of dog.


(e) Farm dogs.--No farmer who owns a dog kept on the farm shall be guilty of keeping a dangerous dog if:


(1) the dog does not leave the farm property to attack; and


(2) the farm is conspicuously posted alerting visitors to the presence of a watch or guard dog at all points of ingress and egress.


(f) Procedure in certain cities.--In cities of the first class, second class and second class A, the following procedure shall apply:


(1) A person who has been attacked by a dog, or anyone on behalf of such person, or a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation while the attacking dog was off the owner's property or a police officer or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city may make a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owner or keeper of such a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The magisterial district judge shall make a report of the determination under section 502-A(a) [FN1] to the police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city and to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement shall give notice of this determination to the respective city treasurer.


(2) All fees and fines shall be paid to and retained by the city treasurers, who shall issue the certificate of registration.


(3) Enforcement of this article in these cities will be under the jurisdiction of the local police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city with notification requirements in section 503-A(d)(2) to be made to the licensing authority and the local police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city.


(4) Copies of all dangerous dog determinations, certificates and reports on the status of the dangerous dog shall be sent to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.


(5) All known incidents of dog attacks shall be reported to the department for the purpose of keeping bite statistic records and possible rabies exposure.


CREDIT(S)



1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 507-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.1, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-502-A.


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