HomeBehavior & trainingCan a Dog Be Put Down for Biting Someone?

Can a Dog Be Put Down for Biting Someone?

by Adopt a Pet, | January 8, 2024

Share
Can a Dog Be Put Down for Biting Someone?

Sandis Lazda / Shutterstock

It is possible that a dog can be put down for biting someone, but it won’t happen in most cases. When a dog is put down, it’s usually because there is a history of aggression, including the dog having bitten in the past. The exact rules about how dog bites are handled vary by city, county, or state, and it’s important to fully understand the laws where you live. It’s even more important to never ignore signs of aggression and to take whatever steps you can to prevent your dog from biting.

Do the circumstances of the bite matter? 

The circumstances surrounding the bite do matter, but in some jurisdictions, they matter more than in others. Even if you live in a jurisdiction with strict liability laws, it will be taken into account whether the victim had a lawful right to be where the bite occurred and whether the victim provoked the dog.

Being declared a dangerous dog 

In some jurisdictions, animal control or the victim of the bite can petition to have your dog declared dangerous. If this goes through, you’ll need to muzzle your dog and follow other guidelines. You may also have to place signage in your yard warning of a vicious dog. Some locations even require you to move the dog out of the jurisdiction where the bite occurred.

Depending on the severity and circumstances of the incident, your dog may be placed on a bite hold. They’ll be seized by animal control and held until a determination is made about what will happen to the dog. At this point, you should hire a lawyer who can help guide you through the process and, if appropriate, fight a dangerous dog determination and/or fight a ruling to euthanize.

Most dogs who bite will not need to be euthanized, but each situation is different and the decision is made on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve noticed signs of aggression, NOW is the time to work with a qualified animal behaviorist to give you the best chance of avoiding a tragic incident.   

A safe, reliable way to rehome your pet

Get Started
Adopt a Pet

Adopt a Pet

Related articles

A Guide to Animal Shelter Terminology

Shelters & Rescue

A Guide to Animal Shelter Terminology

How to Crate Train Your Puppy or Dog

Behavior & Training

How to Crate Train Your Puppy or Dog

How to Introduce a Scared Cat to a Dog

Behavior & Training

How to Introduce a Scared Cat to a Dog