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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 7, 2023 02:28 PM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Dangerous Dogs
Under the current version of the Dog Law, a dog that attacks and injures a person unprovoked may not be deemed “dangerous” due to the law’s requirement that a propensity for such behavior be proved. This essentially means that unless a dog has at least one documented case of a prior unprovoked attack, the dog’s owner may not be held responsible for the dog’s bad behavior. This requirement typically means that unprovoked attacks go unpunished without any steps taken to avoid attacks in the future. It takes little imagination to see how troublesome this could be.
In an effort to provide better protection to the public, I will be introducing legislation that would remove the need to prove multiple unprovoked attacks from a dog before deeming it “dangerous.” Instead, an officer responding to an attack would need to look only at the current circumstances to determine whether or not there was provocation. This would mean a more streamlined process to determining if a dog is dangerous.
Please join me in support of this important legislation.

Introduced as HB916