Dangerous Dog Laws and Posting Surety Bonds
American Pit Bull Terrier (a.k.a. pit bull) or Rottweiler say that their dogs, if trained properly are no more dangerous than other dogs. Nonetheless, quite a few states have enacted both breed-specific legislation (BSL) and dangerous dog laws, and many of these laws do require a bond be posted by the owner. If you have a dog that has either been deemed dangerous by the courts because of a specific action or live in a state where specific breeds are required to have bonds posted against damages, then you should make sure you know the law for your dog.
States with BSLsBecause most BSL is done at the municipal or county level, some states have passed laws that do not allow a municipality to pass breed specific laws. BSL basically either bans specific breeds or requires that they are neutered. They can also require a bond be posted to ensure the owner will cover the costs for any damage done by their dogs. These states that have BSL include: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia
States with Dangerous Dog Laws that Require Surety BondsThere are several states that do require any dog deemed dangerous by local authorities will have to post a surety bond to cover possible costs incurred by the dog. We recommend that all dog owners should be aware of these laws as any breed of dog can be deemed dangerous and liable for surety bond coverage by local authorities if it bites or attacks for any reason.
- Washington State – They have a dangerous dog law, named Chapter 16.08.080 Dogs that requires the posting of a dangerous dog surety bond of $250,000.00 payable to the injured party.
- Georgia – The State of Georgia’s statutes regarding dogs Title 4, Chapter 8, Article 25 requires anyone who owns a dog deemed dangerous or if they are potentially dangerous must have evidence of either an insurance policy or produce a surety bond that has been posted in the amount of $15,000.
- Pennsylvania – The state has enacted statutes 459-503-A that requires anyone who owns a dangerous dog to either show proof of insurance or post a surety bond. Both are required to be in the amount of $50,000.
- Alabama – Law was recently passed House Bill 231 requiring owners of dogs deemed dangerous to either post a bond or provide proof of insurance in the amount of $100,000.
- Minnesota – Statutes were passed regarding Regulations 347.50 Regulation of Dangerous Dogs that requires owners to post an animal control surety bond in the amount of $300,000.
- There are doubtless plenty of other states that have in the past posted laws regarding dangerous dogs that require owners to post a surety bond in that state. In fact, there are few states that do not have surety bond requirements for any dog owner whose dog has been deemed dangerous because of an incident. If in doubt, ask your local animal control. Posting a surety bond in the required amount is the law and will give most owners of dogs deemed dangerous some security against unreasonable lawsuits or even the possibility of having your dog seized or put down.