Can Animal Control Take My Dog?

Dog bite incidents can be scary, both for the person who gets bit and the owner of the dog. If your dog suddenly bites or injures someone, you may be wondering if animal control will take your dog, and what will happen to it. There can be multiple reasons for animal control taking a dog, and different outcomes depending on the situation.

Can animal control take my dog

Can Animal Control take my dog for biting?

In many dog bite cases, it is common for a dog to be taken in, although that doesn’t mean it will always happen. If you’re wondering “will animal control take my dog for biting”, these are the most common circumstances where a dog may be taken:

  • If the bite or injury occurs in public, or in a home that is not yours
  • If the injury is severe
  • If other laws, such as leashing laws, were being broken at the time

If a bite occurs in your home, you are not obligated to call animal control, although you cannot stop others from calling. Additionally, if the injury is minor, the other person can choose not to press charges, in which case they won’t call animal control.

In cases of severe injury, the dog is almost always taken in. If the police or ambulances get involved, they are also likely to call animal control.

What happens if Animal Control takes your dog?

If your dog is taken by animal control after a bite or injury, it’s not the end. There’s still a chance that your dog can be fine, and given back to you. Not every dog is euthanized.

If you are not present when the dog is taken, and your dog has some identifier (like tags) that they can use to contact you, animal control must let you know they have your dog as soon as possible. Not doing that is a crime on their part.

Once a dog is captured, multiple factors are considered. If the dog is not up to date on rabies shots, has a previous history of violence, or if the injury was very severe, they might choose to euthanize the dog. However, if none of those criteria are met, you have a good chance to get your dog back.

You often must go to court to get your dog back, and you might want to hire a dog bite attorney to help you with the case. Additionally, any other pet laws you may have been breaking will be taken into account.

In rare cases, if the dog still poses an active threat to human life and cannot be safely captured, police have the right to put the dog down.

So if your dog is usually peaceful, and the bite is minor, you have a good chance of getting your dog back — if animal control is even called. However, in more severe cases or with a history of violence, your dog might be euthanized.

Are you liable if your dog bites a trespasser?

If your dog is liable to bite people, you will not get rid of your duty merely by affixing a “Beware of the Dog” sign to the front gate. As a matter of fact, you may even be convicting yourself in advance, by admitting preknowledge of the animal’s savage or ferocious tendencies.

If your dog constitutes a “source of danger” — and you have clearly indicated that with your “Beware of the Dog” notice — it is not sufficient that you publish such general notice of that danger. There must be actual knowledge — reasonable means of knowledge is not enough.

Thus, where a man came business to a certain defendant’s premises and was bitten by the defendant’s dog, which was chained up in the yard, near a notice “Beware of the Dog” painted letters three inches high, it was held that, since the man was unable to read, the fact of the notice did not disentitle him from recovering damages.

In such circumstances, it is not necessary, in order to sue a person for injuries caused by a savage dog, to prove that he is the actual owner of the dog. It is sufficient to prove that he keeps it, by “harboring the animal about his premises or allowing it to resort there.”

This means that if you look after a friend’s dog — even if only for a week or two while your friend is away on holiday — you are the party responsible in law. Further, you must hold a license for the animal during the time it is in your care.

It is the keeper, not necessarily the owner, that the law holds responsible. “The occupier of any house or premises shall be deemed to be the owner of such dog, and shall be liable as such,” except where it can be proved that the dog was kept or permitted to live or remain on the premises without the occupier’s sanction or knowledge.

The best advice that can be offered to the person who proposes to keep a savage dog is DON’T. Even if the dog is kept on a chain, the owner is still liable for any damage it may do if it escapes.

What happens when you call animal control on a neighbor?

You might be surprised to discover that there are no laws preventing you from calling animal control on your neighbor. In most states, it’s still legal to call animal control on a neighbor’s pet if it’s running loose in your neighborhood.

If the animal is dangerous or has bitten someone, then it may be illegal to keep it as a pet in the first place. If you live in a state where dog owners must license their pets and vaccinate them against rabies, then it’s likely that your neighbor will have done this already, but not necessarily.

In general, it’s not illegal for one person to call animal control on another person’s pet.

As far as the police are concerned, they’re just like any other citizen: If they see an animal being mistreated or neglected by its owner, they can step in and take action. But unless there is an immediate threat of harm to humans or animals (like if someone calls 911 because a dog is attacking people), then the police usually won’t intervene unless there are specific laws about how animals should be cared for in that state or city (for example).

How can I get my dog back from Animal Control?

If you are the owner of a lost dog, there are some steps that you can take to help you get your dog back. The first thing that you should do is contact your local animal control agency or police department. They will be able to help you with any information about where your dog was picked up and by whom. If the animal control agency does not have any information on your dog, they may be able to provide you with a list of area shelters and rescue organizations that accept stray animals.

The next step is to visit all of these places and post fliers in their lobbies and near their front doors. You should also check their websites for photos of other dogs currently in their care so that you can compare them to your own missing pet. Take along a recent photo of your dog as well as something that he has worn recently so that if anyone recognizes him, they will be able to tell where he came from based on those items alone.

If none of these efforts are successful, try contacting local veterinarians and see if any have reported treating an injured or sickly looking animal in recent days or weeks (a possible indication that it may have been picked up by animal control). You may also want to contact neighbors who live near where the incident took place.

Conclusion of Animal Control taking dogs for biting

The first step in protecting yourself from fines or losing your pet is to know what action animal control can take against you. Animal control officers can issue citations, fines and even put down aggressive animals. They will also try to educate owners about proper training methods so they can avoid such scenarios in the future.

The animal control officer will take the dog to the shelter. The dog may be quarantined and observed for signs of rabies. The owner will be notified in writing of the quarantine period and other requirements. If the dog shows signs of rabies during this time, he must be destroyed.

The owner can appeal a decision by the animal control officer or local health department that requires the destruction of a dog for biting someone if he/she believes the decision was incorrect or unjustified. The appeal must be filed within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision made by the animal control officer or local health department.

We hope that you will use this information to guide you when dealing with animal control taking dogs for biting.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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