It has become an all too frequent occurrence that we hear on the news about dangerous dogs – either dog fighting (Michael Vick), or dogs attacking and/or killing another animal or a human. It is sensational news and the kind of thing today’s media loves to broadcast – it is, to be blunt, an attention grabber. However, there is more to these types of cases than the initial media hoopla.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that there are 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States, with 60% of those living in one-dog homes and 28% in two-dog homes, and the remainder in more-than-two dog homes. That is a lot of dogs. There are just as many different kinds of owners. Owners run the gamut of treating their dog like their child to leaving the dog forgotten about and chained in the back yard, and everything in between.
There is a reason for the saying that “Dogs are man’s best friend” – because they are. However, there are times when humans let their best friend down and problems occur. Dog psychology and behavior is a vast and interesting subject. Dogs rarely act impulsively and have reasons for doing everything they do. They look to humans for leadership, structure and discipline. When the humans do not provide these are when problems occur. Humans and the way they treat, train or not train their dogs are often the cause of a dangerous-dog situation. There is a possibility that there are health issues with the dog and a veterinary evaluation is the only way to determine if that is the case. However, most situations are human error and lack of training and/or socialization of the dog.
Dangerous-dog situations result when a dog causes injury or death to another animal or human. The consequences are rapid and can be severe – ranging from confiscation and quarantine to death. In almost all cases, there will be charges brought against the owner of the dog, and the owner of the dog will have to convince a Judge why their dog should not be killed.
Because these cases are almost always life-or-death situations and move very quickly, if your dog is being labeled a “dangerous dog”, it is imperative that you contact an attorney that has expertise in issues regarding dogs and dangerous dogs. An experienced dog law attorney will have access to the qualified trainers and behaviorists that will be needed to protect you and your dog. When your dog is being labeled a dangerous dog, it is very often not their fault. You need to have an experienced dog law lawyer by your side every step of the way to save your best friend’s life.
Colleen Murphy, Esq.
Attorney/Dog Law Expert
Lewis & Dickstein, PLLC
2000 Town Center, Ste. 2350
Southfield, MI 48075