Injured by Bite? Does Pennsylvania have a leash law?

Categorized: Personal Injury

Injured by Bite? Does Pennsylvania have a leash law?

How to Report a Dog Leash Law Violation

Pennsylvania’s dog leash law violations should be reported to your local police or animal control officer.

Please contact your local police or animal control officer to report a violation of the dog bite law. Here are some local animal control contacts in and around Bucks County:

Middletown

Doylestown

Bensalem

Warminster

Lower Makefield

Philadelphia

Bristol

Newtown

Upper Dublin

Some cities or townships may ask you to fill out a complaint form. Others may take your complaint via phone, fax, or online. Contact your local police or animal control officer for specifics on how to report the leash law violation.  

When you contact the police or animal control officer in your area, provide any evidence of the violation, such as photographs or video surveillance. If you haven’t already, write down details of the violations, including the date, time, and location. Document whether the dog threatened you, your pet, or others.

Injured by a Dog Bite?

We can help if you were bitten by a dog, whether it was leashed or not. A dog bite lawyer at Cordisco & Saile will investigate your case and determine your legal options to hold a dog owner or other party liable for your damages. Call us at 215-642-2335 if you are the victim of a dog bite.

Pennsylvania Dog Leash Law

In Pennsylvania, dogs are not explicitly required to be on a leash under state law, with the exception of certain locations and situations. But many cities throughout the state have their own dog leash laws.

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 a dog was off leash or on leash, if a dog bit you, Pennsylvania imposes strict liability on the dog owner 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.

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