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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.
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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
|Alabama||A dog that has caused death or physical injury and is confirmed to be vicious shall be humanely euthanized.|
|Alaska||Any person is allowed to put down a vicious dog|
|Arizona||The court will hear the case and may issue a euthanization order|
|California||A dog found to be vicious may be euthanized if releasing him poses a threat to the public|
|Colorado||Vicious dogs to be euthanized by a licensed veterinarian|
|Delaware||A dog can be euthanized if it is found to be dangerous or if the owner cannot be found within 5 days.|
|D.C||A dog will be euthanized if it is deemed dangerous or if the owner fails to comply with the registration requirements.|
|Florida||A 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.|
|Georgia||The court may order a dog that has harmed a person to be euthanized or if the owner doesn’t adhere to the ownership regulations.|
|Hawaii||A dog can be euthanized if the court finds it to be a threat to the health and well-being of the general public|
|Idaho||A dog can be euthanized if the court finds it to be dangerous|
|Illinois||Vicious dogs will be impounded pending an appeal from the owner failure to which they will be euthanized in 15 days|
|Kentucky||A vicious dog that attacks a person that is off the premises without a cause will be euthanized|
|Louisiana||The D.A, animal control officer, or sheriff can petition the court to euthanize a dog that caused death or injury of a person|
|Maine||A vicious dog that has injured or killed someone or one that history of aggression will be euthanized as directed by the court.|
|Massachusetts||The 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.|
|Michigan||If the court finds the dog to be dangerous, it shall order his destruction at the expense of the owner.|
|Minnesota||A dog that harms a person or damages public property without being provoked may be humanely euthanized.|
|Montana||the respective counties are given the mandate to determine whether or not to euthanize a dog|
|Nebraska||A vicious dog that has a prior conviction and attacks again shall be confiscated by animal control and then euthanized|
|Nevada||The court will order the humane destruction of a dog that bites and significantly harms someone|
|New Hampshire||No legislation|
|New Jersey||The court shall authorize the euthanization of dogs deemed dangerous|
|New Mexico||The owner of a dangerous dog may transfer ownership of the dog to the animal control who will then euthanize it|
|New York||The court can declare euthanization of a dog that is found to be vicious.|
|North Carolina||No legislation|
|North Dakota||Any peace office may kill and bury a vicious dog but only with the court’s authority|
|Ohio||If the owner of a vicious dog violates the dangerous dog debarking regulations, their dog will be euthanized|
|Oregon||A dog will be euthanized if deemed dangerous or if the owner violates the ownership regulations|
|Pennysvelania||Any dog that attacks people or other animals without provocation will be euthanized|
|Rhode Island||A vicious dog that injures a person may be euthanized|
|South Carolina||A dog that attacks humans or domestic animals may be euthanized|
|South Dakota||No legislation|
|Tennessee||Any dog that bites, injures, or kills may be euthanized|
|Texas||A vicious dog that attacks and injures persons may be euthanized|
|Vermont||The municipal workers can order the muzzling, chaining, or euthanization of a vicious dog|
|Virginia||Upon determination that the dog is dangerous, the court shall order his euthanization|
|Washington||Dogs are to be euthanized within 20 days of the violation unless corrective measures are taken|
|West Virginia||A dog that is proven to be in the habit of biting other animals or people shall be euthanized|
|Wyoming||The dog owner of a dog that has bitten, maimed, or killed a person should put down the dog.|
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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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Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.