Have you been injured by a dog bite?
In Pennsylvania, dogs are not explicitly required to be on a leash under state law, with the exception of certain locations and certain situations. But many cities throughout the state have their own dog leash laws.
Pennsylvania Dog Leash Law
Pennsylvania law requires that a dog must always be confined within the premises of the owner, firmly secured by a collar and chain (leash), or must always be under the reasonable control of some person. The last clause is slightly ambiguous, although many cities within the state have taken action to clarify it by passing their own dog leash laws.
For example, section 10-104 of Philadelphia code states that no animal – other than a cat – can be in public without the use of the leash. Additionally, the city has taken it a step further by specifying that the leash cannot exceed six feet in length.
Dangerous Dogs Must Be on Leash
In Pennsylvania, dogs that have shown a history of aggression, or that have bitten or attacked another animal or a person, must be registered with the state as dangerous dogs.
Section 459-504-A Control of Dangerous Dogs, states that a dangerous dog cannot be outside the property of the owner unless the dog is “muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under the physical restraint of a responsible person.”
Off-leash Areas for Dogs in Pennsylvania
While there are certain state and city requirements that prohibit dogs from being off-leash, there are also a number of allowable off-leash areas throughout the state.
In a dog park, dogs are permitted to be off leash. On many trails throughout the state there are exceptions to the off-leash rules. Ask an official responsible for a trail or park if you’re unsure if it permits dogs to go off-leash before allowing it yourself.
Pennsylvania Dog Bite Law
Regardless of whether or not a dog that was off-leash or on-leash bit you, Pennsylvania imposes a strict liability when injuries are severe or if the dog has previously been deemed dangerous.
This means that if a dog bites a person and causes serious injuries, the victim can recover full damages from the dog owner. If you did not suffer serious injuries, the owner is still liable in most cases but only for your medical expenses.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney at Cordisco & Saile LLC
If a dog bit you and caused injuries, then you have the right to take legal action. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys can represent you as you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, and provide you with the information you need to recover fair compensation that covers your damages. Call us now at 215-642-2335 or contact us online.