By: Serpe Firm
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New Law Changes Virginia’s Definition of Dangerous Dogs
Hundreds of new laws took effect earlier this week, as the efforts of the General Assembly’s session finally paid off. One of the most important changes is the way the state defines “dangerous” dogs.
In the past, dangerous dogs have been given that label anytime they bit another creature, human or animal.
Now, animal control officers will have more discretion when determining if a dog is indeed a danger to the public. The “dangerous” category for dogs has been split into two subcategories, depending on the victim. The animal control officers can also looked at the severity of the injury and make a judgment call on whether or not the pup is a threat to society.
Though many pet owners were relieved to hear about this change, dog bite victims may not be as excited. When a pet owner has a dog with a record of dangerous behavior, it can be easier for victims to seek legal action against them and their pet.
Now, the determination of a dog’s level of danger is done by much more subjective parties. An animal control officer may try to be impartial, but can be influenced by a number of factors. While black and white laws may seem harsh on dogs that truly aren’t dangerous, the old law was very clear in determining if a dog had a violent past. Now, the waters are bit muddied — who can really know if the incident in which the dog bit a cat or a hamster was indeed just playful fun?
Virginia Dog Bite Lawyer – Richard Serpe
Our attorneys have been helping victims injured in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence for over 28 years. . We are also sensitive to the need to conduct a prompt investigation, which is necessary to prevail in the case against the person responsible. If you’d like to speak with us about your situation contact us.