What Should Happen To Aggressive Dogs That Bite?

In Indiana this month, two aggressive rottweilers were brought into animal control after the dogs bit a 12-year-old boy. In the past, the same two dogs had attacked another neighborhood dog. Now, Indiana courts are trying to decide the fate of the two potentially dangerous dogs. But what should happen to any dog that bites another dog or a person?

In many cases, nothing will happen to a dog that bites – at least the first time an incident occurs. The dog or dogs will remain with the owners and the dog bite incident will be noted. If the dog attack was especially serious, or if the dog has a documented history of other human dog bites, the dog could be taken by animal control and kept for a number of days in quarantine. In the most serious cases, the dog will be put down by animal control.

Some owners will either give their dogs up to friends or relatives after a dog bite or attack – or else decide to put the dog down themselves. Dog owners who keep a dangerous dog after a dog bite are more susceptible to premises liability cases if their dog bites again and owners understand that they could face serious lawsuits if their dog attacks a second time. Other owners decide to put their dog down because they realize that it is a threat to their family and their neighbors. 

In the case of the two rottweilers above, the dogs were spared from being euthanized by animal control. Instead, the judge hearing the dog bite case said that the dogs could live – as long as they were removed from their owner’s home. An Indiana animal trainer has volunteered to take the dogs and re-train them. He hopes that after a few months of intensive training, the dogs will be safe to adopt.
James R. Keller
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