Owning Attack Dogs

For those who have dogs, or have grown up near them, they will know that some dogs (for various reasons) can be more aggressive. Actions like abuse and neglect can affect a dog, but so can the deliberate act of training a dog so that it can fight, attack or kill another being. Once that dog has been trained to act in the latter manner, the dog can cause serious injuries. As such, California has a law regarding training dogs to fight or kill. According to California Penal Code 399.5, it is a crime to train a dog in such a way if that dog then bites another human being twice or when the dog’s bite results in substantial injury.

Owning Attack DogsThere a few more elements that must be met in order for someone get convicted of violating PC 399.5. The two most important elements are that the owner of the dog must have known the dog had the training to fight, attack, or kill and that during the crime, the owner did not act in reasonable manner in order to prevent the biting of the person. Therefore, if someone has a dog that was previously trained to attack, but the current owner was never told of this, they would not be guilty of this specific crime if the dog bit someone twice or caused substantial injury. There are other possible charges, however.

PC 399.5 is a serious offense, with those convicted of the crime receiving either a misdemeanor or felony conviction. If the prosecution meets its burden and is asking for a misdemeanor, the judge may sentence the convicted defendant up to a year in county jail. On the other hand, if the prosecution asks for a felony, the sentencing increases to four years in a county jail. Both a misdemeanor and a felony may also require the payment of a hefty fine. As such, all dog owners should be fully aware of the laws in place regarding their pets. It is also vital that at all times, regardless of whether the dog is trained to kill or not, the owner acts in a reasonable manner with their dog.

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