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Published on Mar 07, 2012 by Edgar Snyder

Dog Owners Can Help Prevent Dog Bites From Happening

beware of dog sign

Recently, a partner at our law firm, Attorney Jason Lichtenstein, talked to the media about dog bites, an issue that's received a lot of local attention recently following the tragic death of a two-day-old infant who was attacked by the family Husky in McKeesport.

Dogs truly can be wonderful companions, but remember that as a dog owner, you are responsible for the actions of your pet. By following the leash laws and dog bite laws for where you live, you can help prevent accidents from occurring.

If you own a dog and live in Pennsylvania, you should be familiar with our state's dog laws. Here are some of the main points to consider:

  • First, dogs are required to be under reasonable control at all times. This means that if you are walking your dog, it cannot be allowed to roam free, unless you're at a designated dog park. If a dog runs free and attacks someone, the owner can be held responsible for any injuries or damages.
  • If a dog is put outside, it must be confined to its owner's property by a fence, chain, or other device to prevent straying.
  • Certain dogs must be registered as dangerous. Our website has a full explanation of what constitutes a dangerous dog. Owners of dangerous dogs must follow specific guidelines, such as posting signs on their property to alert people of the animal's presence and securing at least a $50,000 insurance policy to cover damages in the event of an accident.

But remember, these guidelines are only for Pennsylvania dog owners. If you live in a different state, you should check with your state or local government about their dog bite and leash laws.

In addition to following your state's laws, it's important to understand dog behavior. Our law firm has compiled resources on dog bite prevention, including tips for parents, tips for kids, and dog bite warning signs.

I love dogs as much as the next person, but I've seen what can happen when they aren't under control. Not only are they a risk to people and other animals, they are a risk to themselves as well. Dogs that get loose can run into traffic, get lost, and put themselves in harm's way. Please take the proper precautions to keep your dog safe and out of trouble.

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