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Dog law is regional and varies from country to country and often even from county to county. If you need to know more about dog law you will therefore need to research the law in your particular jurisdiction. It is important to remember that there might be dog laws at county, state and national level all regulating dogs and dog ownership in your area.
Never assume that the laws that apply in your area will apply when you go abroad. This is however also true when you travel within the country. Dog law can vary from area to area within a country and it is therefore important to not assume that the laws will remain the same when you move or go on vacation, even if you do so within a country. In the United States, dog law is regulated on state level. In other countries, one dog law can be applicable for most of the country, while a separate dog law is valid in a small area that has gained a certain level of autonomy.
If you for whatever reason need help regarding to dog law it is advisable to hire a local lawyer that knows the law in the area in question. There are many situations when you might need an expert on dog law. Talking to the police or to local animal control might not be enough.
Below are just a few examples of situations where you may consider contacting a dog law expert.
Your neighbour’s dog barks all day and cause a nuisance.
Your neighbour’s dog escapes from its yard and damages your garden.
Someone allow their dogs to roam free in your area.
You want a dog owner to keep a muzzle on his dogs.
A dog attacked you.
A dog attacked a member of your family.
Someone claims that your dog is barking too much.
Someone claims that your dog have damaged their property.
Someone wants you to keep a muzzle on your dog and you don’t agree.
Someone claims that your dog attacked them.
Someone injured your dog.
Someone injured your dog and is claiming self defence.
Someone claims that your dog breed is not allowed in your neighbourhood.
Dog law is complicated but it is possible that you are entitled to compensation directly from the owner of an offending dog or from an insurance company if the dog or the owner is insured. The risk of being personally liable for the actions of your dog is very real and it can be good to have an insurance that cover such liabilities. Without insurance, you might be forced to pay out considerable amounts of money if your dog does something wrong. Contacting a dog lawyer if your dog gets in trouble or if you get wronged by a dog can save/earn you a lot of money.
It is hard to give any general guidelines in regards to dog law. An incident involving a dog can raise a long row of different questions that need to be handled by a dog law lawyer. If for instance someone is bitten by a dog, the medical bills can reach substantial amounts, but that is not all. In many cases, cosmetic surgery is necessary and it is not uncommon for insurance companies to refrain from paying such expenses. If you are the bitten person, you may be forced to pay out of your own pocket. If you are the owner of the dog, dog law can force you to reimburse the dog bite victim for such costs. A dog bite can also create expenses in the form of lost income, future loss if income, therapy costs, counselling for family members, and so on, all of which the dog owner can be liable to pay for. Many of these concerns can become an issue a period after the incident involving the dog and it can therefore be a good idea to contact a lawyer that specialises in dog law even in cases that at first seem harmless and without consequences.
West Highland White Terrier