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Know the Law and Your Rights When it Comes to Dangerous Dogs in St. Louis

“Beware – Dangerous Dog”

It's OK to hesitate when you see one of these warning signs. Thanks to a particular dog's history of aggression, ‘dangerous dog' signs are legally required to be posted if you keep a dangerous dog on your property in St. Louis.

Most people are unfamiliar with laws that pertain to animals. You should know that St. Louis has specific definitions of and requirements for dangerous dogs.

City law defines a potentially dangerous dog as any unprovoked dog that:

  • Bites a person or other domestic animal on private or public property.
  • Chases a person on a public street or sidewalk, seemingly in an attempt to attack.
  • Has a known tendency to attack people or other domestic animals without being provoked.
  • Has a known tendency to injure or threaten people or other domestic animals.
  • Has been caught by the city twice in the last 18 months for running at large.
  • Has been found running at large with at least three other large dogs.

Granted, it is possible that a dog guilty of one of these criteria is really quite gentle and not at all a threat to your safety. That's why these are stated as signs of a potentially dangerous dog.

It is also important to note that this only applies to situations where the dog is unprovoked. City officials recognize that a guard dog trained to protect may understandably bite an intruder. There are three specific situations in which a dog will not be labeled as dangerous for threatening or injuring a person in a St. Louis dog attack:

  1. If the person was trespassing on the property.
  2. If the person was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog in any way.
  3. If the person has tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog in the past.

In cases where a dog is known to be dangerous, the owners are responsible for properly containing the dog and following certain restrictions that the city has imposed. The owner of a dangerous dog must:

  • Keep the dog properly enclosed on the property.
  • Post warning signs of a dangerous dog at all entrances to the property.
  • Use a muzzle and short leash anytime the dog leaves the property.
  • Have a microchip put in the dog for identification.
  • Have at least $50,000 in insurance in case of a St. Louis dog bite.

If you have any more questions regarding dangerous dogs or how these ordinances might apply to your Missouri dog bite lawsuit, you should contact an experienced St. Louis dog bite attorney. For a free consultation call Alvin Wolff at 877-241-1020.

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