Q: What happens to dogs after they bite a human and are declared vicious?
When a dog is declared vicious after an attack, a judge may order euthanasia under certain circumstances. If the owner is permitted to keep the dog, he or she will have to obtain a certificate of registration, which will only be issued after the owner has met the list of requirements set forth in Georgia Code § 4-8-27.
Summary of Vicious Dog Laws
Georgia defines a vicious dog as one “that inflicts serious injury on a person or causes serious injury to a person resulting from reasonable attempts to escape from the dog's attack.”
Any dog that animal control considers a threat to public safety can be immediately impounded. If the dog has been declared vicious, GA Code § 4-8-25 provides that the judge has the authority to order the dog be euthanized if:
- the owner was in violation of a crime related to the dog; or
- local authorities recommend the animal to be put down.
If, however, the dog has attacked before, euthanasia will be expedited, without need for the above two stipulations to be met. However, injuries occurring before July 1, 2012 will not be counted.
If the owner is permitted to keep the dog, he or she will have to meet the following requirements:
- securely keep the dog in an enclosure;
- post visible warning signs at each entrance where the dog resides;
- have a microchip with an ID number inserted between the dog’s shoulder blades; and
- carry $50,000 in liability insurance.
The liability insurance is extremely important because should the dog attack again and injure someone, the owner can be liable for the victim’s damages if the owner was in violation of any of Georgia’s dog bite laws.
Consult an Injury Lawyer after Dog Bite Attack
For injuries caused by a dog declared vicious, the injured is within his or her legal rights to pursue compensation for damages from the owner.
Contact our team at the Law Offices of Jason Schultz in Peachtree City to schedule a consultation about your situation. We serve Peachtree City and the surrounding areas and are available to discuss your legal options with you: 404-474-0804 or contact us online.