PA Leash Law: The Basics to Avoid Criminal Negligence
Your dog maybe your best friend but to other people he may be just plain terrifying. Therefore, it is important to understand PA Leash Law, that you are responsible for your dog along with any personal injury or property damage caused by your dog.
The Basics Of PA Leash Laws
Most dog bites and attacks happen because a dog is running loose or not properly contained. Pennsylvania does not have specific rules regarding keeping your dog on a leash. However, PA Code § 459-305 is clear that a dog must be confined to its owner’s premises and must be secured to the property, such as with a collar and chain, so that it cannot stray, or the dog should be reasonably controlled by its owner. This law also states that a dog can be off leash when engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition or field training.
Many things can go wrong if a dog is not properly controlled or confined. If you fail to control your dog you could possibly find yourself in a legal situation. Some problematic situations that can and often do arise from an improperly confined dog are as follows.
You may think you never have to worry about your dog biting or attacking a person because you know the dog’s personality. He or she may be the most gentle animal you’ve ever known. But, animals are unpredictable. Suppose a small child runs up to your dog and you are not there to oversee the situation. If your dog is not used to small children, this may scare him. This can lead to a bite or even an attack. Dogs can exhibit behavior you never thought possible if they are frightened or startled.
Once the damage is done, it is you who will have to pay the medical bills. Depending on the severity of the bite or attack, you could be found criminally negligent. Ultimately, you could be ordered by the court to pay all medical costs, attorney’s fees and fines.
You may also have to surrender your dog while the court decides if euthanasia is necessary. This can quickly turn into a situation where everyone loses, including the dog.
Dogs can be destructive. It is okay if your dog damages property you own, but it is a different story when he decides to dig holes in your neighbor’s yard or trample their beautiful flower garden. While this isn’t as serious as other situations, it could still cost you money to fix the damage.
Your dog may also become aggressive to other dogs. If your dog enters the property where another dog resides, a fight is likely to happen. Your dog could seriously injure or even kill the other dog. You can then be sued by that dog’s owner and will likely have to pay court costs, attorney’s fees and fines.
Your Dog’s Safety
If your dog leaves your property and is roaming around the neighborhood alone, he is in danger. A lot of things could happen to him. He could be hit by a car, attacked by another dog, picked up by the animal warden or become a victim of unscrupulous individuals. These are all unpleasant situations that you do not want to allow to happen to your friend.
Therefore, it is essential that you keep control of your dog at all times. If you don’t have a fence in your yard, ensure your dog is secured to your property with a collar and chain. If you have a large dog, you will need to have a chain strong enough to hold your dog. Believe it or not, dogs are great escape artists. So, you must be vigilant about your dog’s security. If you don’t have a fence or yard, ensure that your dog is secured properly with a chain and collar. Alternatively you can consider using an electronic pet containment system, for more information read this article from Shih Tzu Expert about best wireless dog fences
Remember, that properly confining your dog is not only important for the safety of your dog and everyone around you, but it is the law in Pennsylvania. Failing to do so could cost you money, time, emotional distress and even the loss of your dog. Sitters4Critters can provide more information regarding the Pa Leash Law when they provide dog walking services for you.
Perry Liss,Esq is the founder of The Philadelphia Law Firm which is a full-service general practice law firming serving all of Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.