Dangerous & Vicious Dog Investigations

The Animal Welfare Division (AWD) conducts investigations of dangerous and vicious dogs. A dog can be classified as dangerous when it has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or a companion animal, or has killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat.  A dog can be classified as vicious when it kills or inflicts serious injury to a person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of a body function. A dog cannot be found dangerous or vicious based solely upon breed, or if no serious physical injury has occurred, the attack occurs on the property of the biting dog's owner, or for other good cause as determined by the court.

Reporting a Dangerous or Vicious Dog

Citizens that believe a dog is dangerous or vicious should contact the AWD. An animal control officer or law-enforcement officer may apply to the Magistrate requesting a hearing. Victims and witnesses may be required to submit written testimony, photographs of the injury, or statements from physicians or veterinarians. Victims and witnesses may also be required to appear in court.

Possible Court Actions

If a court determines a dog is dangerous, the owner must obtain a dangerous dog license, confine the dog indoors or in a proper enclosure, properly post the property on which the dog is housed, spay or neuter the dog, tattoo or microchip the dog, purchase $100,000 liability insurance, and register the dog annually with the city and the state. If a dog is determined to be vicious, the dog must be humanely euthanized.