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Attention Dog Owners: Know Your Responsibilities in North Carolina

PoppedThe state of North Carolina attempts breed-specific legislation every so often, but officials never seem to agree and the laws do not pass. This does not negate North Carolina dog owners from adhering to a specific level of responsibility when it comes to their canine companions.

Whether you have a Rottweiler or a Shih Tzu, there are rules that you need to be aware of. Here is a rundown of North Carolina dog law, as it stands today.

What is a Dangerous Dog?

Throughout the state, a dangerous dog is defined as one that has:

  • Killed or inflicted severe injury on a person without provocation; or
  • Bitten a person, causing disfiguring lacerations, broken bones, cosmetic surgery, or hospitalization; or
  • Killed or inflicted severe injury upon a domestic animal off of the owner’s property; or
  • Approached a person off of the owner’s property in a terrorizing or vicious manner in an attitude of attack.

What are the Exceptions?

Police and military dogs are typically exempt from these laws, assuming that the dog is under the handler’s control. Should the dog stray off of the handler’s property or is not in control of the handler, the same rules apply.

A dog that inflicts injury upon a person or another domestic animal on its own property is typically not held liable for its actions.

Rules That Apply to Dangerous Dogs

If your dog has been deemed dangerous by police, the local dog warden, council, or the courts, you are to adhere to a stricter code of legislation.

Once your dog is deemed dangerous, you are not permitted to leave it unattended, even on your own property. When not under your control, a dangerous dog must be confined indoors or to a securely enclosed and locked pen.

Your dog is not permitted off of your property, even whilst under your control, without a leash and a muzzle. Should you release your dog to the ownership of a new person, you must submit, in writing, to authorities that have deemed the dog dangerous: the new owner’s name and address. You are also required to tell the new owner of your dog’s history.

When you decide to keep a dog in your home, whether dangerous or not, it is your responsibility to keep it, other people, and other animals safe. Being a responsible owner is part of the promise that you make when you bring a dog into your home. If you have any other questions regarding dog laws in your city, your local council or dog warden can provide information to you.

If you, a member of your family, or your pet has been bitten by a dog, the experienced dog bite attorneys at Auger & Auger are here to help you. First consultations are always free. Call us today!

Posted In: Dog and Animal Attacks
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