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Old 12-20-2007, 11:15 PM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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Default Dog laws effective at preventing dog attacks?

Gempress's post about leash laws sparked me to think about the relation of effective dog laws and dog attacks. I'm curious as to what dog laws everyone currently faces in their own piticular area ( lets keep it on a local, city/town level) and on annual how many dog attacks you hear about in your city. Do you think these laws are effective or ineffective at preventing dog bites, and if not what ones you would like to see imposed? ( try and be realistic within the budget your city works with)

A few examples of types of laws your area may have include...

How many can you own?
Noise levels?
Mandatory leash laws?
Mandatory registration of dog to local Animal Control?
BSL? (Breed Bans)
Dangerous dog laws?
Bans against chaining
Mandatory spay/neuter laws?
Animal Creultly laws ( if you know how much money/jail time is usually given out for offence's)
Any other laws?
I'll start

I live in Ontario, Canada.

In my city you can own up to four dogs, any additional dogs will be ceased.

Owners are responsible for keeping their dogs from causing a disturbance, this does not have any specific hours and owners may be fined at anytime.

Dogs are required to be leashed at all times, though I hardly see this enforced in my area.

All dogs are reqired after 6 months of age to be registerted with the City Animal control regardless of breed. Any owners caught walking their dogs around without a city tag can be fined up to $400.

Breed Specific Legislation was introduced two years ago, after three or four attacks. Pitbulls living with their owners were allowed to stay (unlike many parts of the world) as long as they complied to strict rules which included, mandatory muzzles when in public, mandatory spay/neuter and great prosecution power for ACO's. As part of the legislation, and i qoute, "The definition of a pit bull includes; pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier or a dog that shares the physical characteristics with any of the above."

Recently a law suite has been filed against the pitbull ban bill and while the jury is still in deliberation as to whether or not the bill will be shot down, the have ruled that the definition of a "pit bull terrier" was too vague but it is still too early to see if this will change anything.

Fines for grandfathered pitbulls who are still legally allowed to exsist in Ontario include...

"The regulations stipulate that restricted pit bulls must be spayed or neutered and leashed and muzzled in public.The onus to prove a dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog.

In a Court proceeding if a pit bull owneris found to have contravened a provision of the Dog Owners Liability Act or their dog has bitten, attacked or posed a menacea mandatory destruction order will be issued by the Courts."

As for dangerous dog laws we also have a law which applies to the whole province of Ontario and to all beeds and mixes.


" Amendments Regarding All Dogs and Dog Owners

Charges can be brought against any dog owner where a dog has bitten or attacked

OR behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals

OR where the dog owner did not exercise reasonable grounds to prevent a dog from doing any of the above."

"Menacing behaviour" is not defined in the law and thus is at the discration of the Animal Control officer.

This means if your dog attacks a neighbors "inesert domestic animal here" or barks at passer byers from its fence line you could recieve one of the following sentences...

10,000.00 fine and or 6 months in jail.

$60,000.00 fine for corporations.

The court may also make restitution orders requiring convicted persons to make compensation to the victims.

There are no mandatory spay/neuter laws and in addition chaining your dog is legal.

Our Animal Creultly laws are pretty standard and are qouted as follows, "Criminal Code of Canada - Cruelty to Animals
In Part XI of the Criminal Code, Wilful and Forbidden Acts in Respect of Certain Property, Section 446-1 states that it is a federal offence to "wilfully cause or permit to be caused, being the owner, unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or by wilful neglect, cause damage or injury to animals while they are being driven or conveyed." In Ontario, Inspectors and Agents of the Ontario SPCA can and do lay charges under the Criminal Code in cases of severe cruelty or neglect. "

Other Laws

"Dog Owner's Liability Act
An Act designating dog owners (or the parents/guardians of owners who are minors) responsibility for bites or attacks by their dog on a person or other domestic animal. An exclusion may be made if the bite or attack occurred on a person in the process of committing a criminal act or in the destruction of the owner's property. The Act covers all breeds of dogs but has specific regulations for pit bull owners including a mandatory requirement for all dogs to be muzzled and leashed off the owner's property. In case of a dog bite or attack, the Ontario Court of Justice may order one of the following: destruction of the dog; measures for more effective control; confinement; leash; muzzle and prohibition of the individual from dog ownership for a specified period of time. The Dog Owner's Liability Act is enforced by local municipalities and police forces. "

"Animals for Research Act
An Act providing a focus for humane care and use of all animals in research through establishing minimum standards. The purpose of the Act is threefold: to maintain a minimum standard of care and well-being for all animals used in research; to protect research animals from unnecessary pain; and to assure that dogs used in research are obtained legally and are not wanted as pets. The Act requires all researchers to be accountable to animal care committees for their use of animals; protects all vertebrates including fish, rodents, reptiles, birds, primates and livestock; prescribes minimum standards and requirements; provides minimum redemption times for animals impounded; and provides minimum standards for municipal pounds. The Animals for Research Act is enforced by inspectors who are appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). "


While I wont use statistics or numbers as most are always taken from a selective pool and rarely accurate I have not seen a dramatic decrease in dog attacks because of of BSL and currently I think the laws are misplaced in attempting to keep the public safe. While we do have mandatory leash laws I still see dogs running free constantly. While we do have laws that target irresponsible owners whose dogs do attack we still have incidences and no laws that are effective at preventing attacks.

While the dog owners liability act is tough, i think it is to vague especially with "menacing behaviour" not even being defined meaning if your neighbors are afraid of your dog or breed can complain that your dog barks at them and actually have action taken against you, something which any informed person would tell you is simply a trait of most dogs. Which is where I think the problem lies my areas dog laws are founded in misinformation.

The price of this is to high in my opinion, on the one hand these laws seldom work and usually work against not only a large percentage of tax paying dog owners but against public safety.

Laws I would like to see imposed that I think would be more effective inculde...


minimum fence hieghts for all dog owners and all coporations using attack/gaurd dogs ( for example in car lots)

a ban on chaining your dog outside for the majority of the day ( standards would have to be set to this and may need to vary from season to season)


Laws id like to see removed or partially changed include...

Our breed specific legislation bill

and parts of the dangerous dog legislation more clearly defined in this case "menacing behaviour" as i dont think you should be looking at losing yor dog or a fine because your dog chased your neighbors cat ( in this case they would instead be fined for your dog being offleash, as i do not believe prey drive constitues human aggression.

Sorry for the long post but id like to get others imput on their current laws what they think of them and what youd like changed and then taking some time after the holidays to write your city major/council.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:38 PM
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Don't forget anti-breeder laws. Also laws against keeping of "guard dogs."

In my particular area, the only laws I know about are the leash law, limit of 3 dogs per home, and a law that says you can't have a female unsupervised in heat (for what good it does since they don't enforce it). I would really love to see them enforcing the county laws with regard to breeding dogs, because I think those are fair to everybody. And for sure enforce that stinkin' leash law and don't give me simpering excuses like "the city can be sued" if you take a dog off the street.

I don't know. I would have a lot more to say about this but I've been really flippin' tired the last few days. Maybe I'll see the little "Lindsay has replied here" mark on this thread later and come back and give a more detailed response. LOL
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:57 PM
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I live in NC..

In my county..
we dont have a limit for the number of dogs we can own

dogs that are deemed dangerous ( they can be deemed dangerous if they bite and its breaks skin, or causes abrasions, or chases, cars, pedestrians, livestock or other domestic animals ), must have a secure enclosure, and the owner must post signs warning others that there is a dangerous animal on the premises..also its unlawful for that animal to be outside of his dwelling unless getting medical care, or being sold or given away, and if he is outside of that area, they have to wear a muzzle and be held by a chain that can withstand 300 pounds of tension and not be more than three feet in length

we also have laws against nuisance animals.. ones that chases cars, people, other domestic animals, nuisance barking, and so on and so forth..

here are our cruelty laws
An owner must provide, water, shelter and wholesome food, veterinary care, its also, unlawful to beat, torment, overwork, and otherwise abuse the animal..

Its also against the law to tease, torment or bait any dog that is not your own..

Its against the law to leave an animal in a closed car/truck for a long time or at harmful temperatures..

Any dog or cat over 4 months of age must have a rabies vaccination and be wearing the tag at all times..

As far as licensing, its done when you get the rabies vaccination done

LEASH LAWS:
Unless the owners have prior consent, such as a hunt on private property.. Dogs must be held with a Chain, leash, or other device of sufficient strength by a competent person..

or unless there is an enclosure..such as a fence

If a dog is not any of those it is considered a stray, or a at-large dog and will be took in to the AC

and we dont have BSL...

Whew!!! I think thats about it...
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:36 AM
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I live in the Netherlands. I'm very interested in seeing the differences with other countries.

How many can you own?

As much as you want.

Noise levels?

If neighbours complain you have to do something about it. I'm not sure what happens if you don't.

Mandatory leash laws?

Dogs have to be leashed in the builded area. In my city nobody cares, but in the big city's you can be fined if you don't follow the rule. In nature area's there are signs that say if you have to leash your dog or not. If there is lots of wildlife, you risk a fine for an offleash dog.

Mandatory registration of dog to local Animal Control?

In my city I don't pay dog taxes and I don't have to register my dogs. In the city's where you have to pay taxes you have to register your dogs.

BSL? (Breed Bans)

Pitbulls are illegal here, and dogs without pedigree that look like pitbulls. Staffords by example are legal, but if they don't have a pedigree they are seen as pitbulls and euthanized. However we hope this law will change soon, a couple of months ago a confiscated (spelled right?) stafford without pedigree was returned to it's owners because she was very friendly. This is the first time this happened, and I hope it will happen again.

Some other breeds (Fila, Rottweiler and more) have to take a test to see if they are friendly before you can breed with them. You can breed them without the test, but the puppies won't receive a pedigree.


Dangerous dog laws?

Don't know exactly. If a dog bites someone or another dog and the victim is wounded, the dog has to be leashed and muzzled in the future. Mostly the victim doesn't call the police so nothing happens, but there are not many biting incidents here. Most of the biting incidents happen in the own home.
If it's really bad a dog can be euthanised.

Bans against chaining

I have no idea, but I've never seen a chained dog so i don't think this happens anymore.

Mandatory spay/neuter laws?

None, thankfully. But we don't really have a population problem. It's hard to find a puppy or a dog without problems in a shelter.

Animal Creultly laws ( if you know how much money/jail time is usually given out for offence's)

I don't know exactly. Dogs need to get food, fresh water, shelter and medical care. I believe there are fines if an owner doesn't take good care of a dog, and if that doesn't help or if a dog is in really bad schape the animal can be taken. Owners can be restricted from ever owning an animal again.

Any other laws?

In some area's you have to pick up after your dog. Where I live it's not allowed, but a responsable dog owner makes sure nobody is bothered by your dogs poo. But that's just my opinion.



I would like to see the RAD (which means rules agressive animals) change, and make pitbulls legal again. Biting incidents have not lessened after this law (and that was the reason for the law), and it doesn't work here because a pitbull isn't a registered breed so the police just looks at the appearance of a dog. There are cases known of crossbreeds that looked like pitbulls (example: boxer x whippet) and were killed while they had not a drop of pitbull blood in them.
I don't pay taxes for the dogs in my city and I hope other cities follow. In the areas where people have to pay dog taxes, the money isn't used for the dogs. If they would use the money for fenced offleash area's, for example, it would be a lot better.

I'm really happy that there are a lot of area's where it's legal to walk your dog offleash, I hope this stays.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:20 AM
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do i think these laws prevent dog attacks? no. the majority of bites are either from dogs the victim knows or occur on the dog's property (children bitten by chained dogs, people going into the dog's yard).

yes, there are some stories of people being attacked by marauding packs of dogs. most of the time there are leash laws in the area, so obviously they're not effective.

i think most dog attacks could be curbed if people had more common sense and treated their dogs as animals instead of either a) lawn ornaments b) puppy machines or c) children in fur suits. but i don't think it's possible to legislate any of that in an effective and responsible manner. i don't agree with anti-tethering legislation nor do i agree with mandatory spay/neuter laws. in both cases, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. you're not going to solve the problem, and the responsible people are going to be the victims.

i think leash laws are absolutely appropriate, especially given the number of problems i have with off-leash dogs even though there *are* leash laws in effect here. at least that gives me a leg to stand on if one of my dogs is hurt or hurts another dog. given how few people can appropriately and responsibly handle their dogs in places where it's ok to have off-leash dogs (dog park horror stories anyone?), it literally gives me nightmares to think of my world without leash laws.
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:25 PM
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I will answer for both Fauquier County and Prince William County because I go in and out of both with my dogs all the time.

Fauquier County

How many can you own? - no limit

Noise levels? - "Owning, keeping, possessing or harboring any animal or animals which frequently or habitually howl, bark, meow, squawk or make such other noise as is plainly audible across property boundaries or through partitions common to two (2) persons within a building shall be unlawful."

Mandatory leash laws? - there are no leash laws, but there is a law against dogs running at large. Basically you are breaking the law if you allow your dog to roam off of your property.


Mandatory registration of dog to local Animal Control? - yes

BSL? (Breed Bans) - no, BSL is illegal here.

Dangerous dog laws? - yes, but if your dog bites someone who is committing a crime on your property, or if the dog was provoked or in pain or defending its puppies, it won't be found viscious.

Bans against chaining - no

Mandatory spay/neuter laws? - no

Animal Cruelty laws ( if you know how much money/jail time is usually given out for offence's)
Any other laws? - the dog must have food, water, and shelter, and these things are defined in the law quite well, such as the shelter must be clean and protect the dog from the elements, etc. If you breed and sell more than one litter in a year, you must apply for a breeder's permit. Animal cruelty convictions are mostly misdemeanors and small fines and stuff.


In Prince William County, the laws are basically the same because they both follow the Code of Virginia. However, there is a leash law in Prince William County.
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:35 PM
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Just wanted to add: Here a dog can be found vicious if it kills a cat (as long as the cat isn't on the dog owner's property). I think that's kinda dumb.

Fairfax County has a list of dangerous dogs. Look how many are on there for biting an animal! http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/...-dogs-2007.pdf
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