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How Many Times Can A Dog Bite Before Being Put Down?

How Many Times Can A Dog Bite Before Being Put Down?

Dog bite laws vary from state to state. When the incident happens, the state will typically hold a hearing to determine if the dog poses a threat to the public.

For instance, if it has been trained to attack, fight or kill, there is a good chance it will be euthanized.

However, in some jurisdictions, the owner will not be held liable if there is no proof of negligence – even if their dog is vicious.

You may need to check your local laws to know the circumstances under which a dog can be put down for biting because they are different across the states.

 If there are no local laws on what to do, then the common law principle known as one-bite rule will apply.

The one-bite rule doesn’t mean that your dog is entitled to at least one bite.

On the contrary, any behavior that is deemed to pose a risk can cause the one-bite rule to be invoked.

For instance, if a dog chases a bike and causes injury to the cyclist, the one-bite rule might apply.

If your dog hurts someone directly or indirectly, you will most likely be required to compensate them.

Related Post: How Strong Are Dog’s Teeth?

The State Laws on Euthanizing Dogs

Your dog will not be euthanized unless it is considered to be dangerous /vicious.

The law defines a dangerous/vicious dog as one that puts other dogs and members of the public at the risk of death or injury.

It is possible for a dog that is not dangerous to bite someone and cause them physical harm.

For instance, a dog that is not fully trained might accidentally bite someone who was trying to pet him.

This is one of the reasons why the law protects against euthanizing dogs unless they are proven to be dangerous.

In most states, a dog just needs to bite someone once for it to be a candidate for euthanization but in some, he will need to be a repeat offender.

The table below outlines how different states deal with dangerous dogs

StateEuthanasia Statutes
AlabamaA dog that has caused death or physical injury and is confirmed to be vicious shall be humanely euthanized.
AlaskaAny person is allowed to put down a vicious dog
ArizonaThe court will hear the case and may issue a euthanization order  
ArkansasNo legislation
CaliforniaA dog found to be vicious may be euthanized if releasing him poses a threat to the public
ColoradoVicious dogs to be euthanized by a licensed veterinarian
ConnecticutNo legislation
DelawareA dog can be euthanized if it is found to be dangerous or if the owner cannot be found within 5 days.
D.CA dog will be euthanized if it is deemed dangerous or if the owner fails to comply with the registration requirements.
FloridaA dog will be euthanized within 10 days (unless there is an appeal) if it has been previously classified as dangerous and still continues to be a menace without being provoked. 
GeorgiaThe court may order a dog that has harmed a person to be euthanized or if the owner doesn’t adhere to the ownership regulations.
HawaiiA dog can be euthanized if the court finds it to be a threat to the health and well-being of the general public
IdahoA dog can be euthanized if the court finds it to be dangerous
IllinoisVicious dogs will be impounded pending an appeal from the owner failure to which they will be euthanized in 15 days
IndianaNo legislation
IowaNo legislation
KansasNo legislation
KentuckyA vicious dog that attacks a person that is off the premises without a cause will be euthanized
LouisianaThe D.A, animal control officer, or sheriff can petition the court to euthanize a dog that caused death or injury of a person
MaineA vicious dog that has injured or killed someone or one that history of aggression will be euthanized as directed by the court.
MarylandNo legislation
MassachusettsThe court can order the euthanization of a vicious dog. Police officers, constables, or dog officers are allowed to kill dogs that pose a threat to the public.
MichiganIf the court finds the dog to be dangerous, it shall order his destruction at the expense of the owner.
MinnesotaA dog that harms a person or damages public property without being provoked may be humanely euthanized.
MississippiNo legislation
MissouriNo legislation
Montanathe respective counties are given the mandate to determine whether or not to euthanize a dog
NebraskaA vicious dog that has a prior conviction and attacks again shall be confiscated by animal control and then euthanized
NevadaThe court will order the humane destruction of a dog that bites and significantly harms someone
New HampshireNo legislation
New JerseyThe court shall authorize the euthanization of dogs deemed dangerous
New MexicoThe owner of a dangerous dog may transfer ownership of the dog to the animal control who will then euthanize it
New YorkThe court can declare euthanization of a dog that is found to be vicious.
North CarolinaNo legislation
North DakotaAny peace office may kill and bury a vicious dog but only with the court’s authority
OhioIf the owner of a vicious dog violates the dangerous dog debarking regulations, their dog will be euthanized
OklahomaNo legislation
OregonA dog will be euthanized if deemed dangerous or if the owner violates the ownership regulations
PennysvelaniaAny dog that attacks people or other animals without provocation will be euthanized
Rhode IslandA vicious dog that injures a person may be euthanized
South CarolinaA dog that attacks humans or domestic animals may be euthanized
South DakotaNo legislation
TennesseeAny dog that bites, injures, or kills may be euthanized
TexasA vicious dog that attacks and injures persons may be euthanized
UtahNo legislation
VermontThe municipal workers can order the muzzling, chaining, or euthanization of a vicious dog
VirginiaUpon determination that the dog is dangerous, the court shall order his euthanization
WashingtonDogs are to be euthanized within 20 days of the violation unless corrective measures are taken
West VirginiaA dog that is proven to be in the habit of biting other animals or people shall be euthanized
WisconsinNo legislation
WyomingThe dog owner of a dog that has bitten, maimed, or killed a person should put down the dog.

For the most part, a single bite will be enough for your dog to be considered vicious.

Unless you can prove that the bite was accidental, the court will most likely find your dog guilty and order him to be put down humanely.

Dog owners must always put their dogs on a leash and observe other safety protocols to avoid this from happening.

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Last Updated on July 31, 2022 by

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