Pennsylvania Dangerous Dog Law Summary




Follow this link for the text of PA's Dangerous Dog Law.

Having a Dog Declared Dangerous

  • Anyone who has been attacked by a dog, or anyone on behalf of such a person may make a complaint before a District Justice charging the owner with keeping a dangerous dog.
  • Anyone who owns a domestic animal that has been severly injured by a dog while the dog was off its owner's property may also make a complaint before a District Justice charging the owner with keeping a dangerous dog.
  • If the dog is used to commit a crime (i.e. protecting a drug dealer's stash), it may also be determined to be dangerous.
  • The District Justice will consider police reports, eyewitness testimony and any other evidence to determine the dog to be dangerous.
Requirements to Keep a Dog that has been Declared Dangerous

  • A proper enclosure to contain the dog. The enclosure must have secure sides and a top. Sides must extend 2 feet into the ground to prevent the dog from digging out.
  • Carry a $50,000 bond payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog or a liability insurance policy for at least $50,000.
  • Pay a fee of $25 per year to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to register the dangerous dog.
  • Post uniform identifiable symbols around the property to indicate a dangerous dog is on the premises.
Failure to Register or Restrain a Dangerous Dog

  • The owner of a dangerous dog commits a third degree misdemeanor and the dog will be confiscated by the Police or a Dog Warden if:
    • The dog is not validly registered.
    • The owner does not carry the required insurance or bond
    • The dog is not kept in a secure enclosure
    • The dog is outside its enclosure or the owner's home unrestrained
  • If a dangerous dog, through intentional, reckless or negligent conduct of its owner, attacks another person or domestic animal, the owner is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor, and the dog will be confiscated & destroyed.
  • If a dangerous dog causes severe injury or death to any human, the owner is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor and the dog will be confiscated & destroyed.
The Pennsylvania Dog Law prohibits local municipalities from enacting breed-specific ordinances that declare dogs dangerous based solely on their breed. It also prohibits insurance carriers from denying coverage to homeowners because they own a specific breed of dog.

http://home. paonline. com/pfdc/ DANGERS.HTM