Barking dogs & the law

If you own a dog breed that is considered dangerous – such as a pit bull, you are bound by law to take extra precautions with that animal. There are countless stories each week of such dogs attacking, and sometimes killing, children, adults, and other animals.

Just last week, a Detroit man’s three pit bulls escaped from his yard and mauled to death a 9-year old girl. A neighbor tried to stop the attack by throwing bricks at the dogs, to no avail. The young child was left with bites and tears over her whole body, and later died at a hospital as a result.

Now, 33-year old Pierre Cleveland is charged with murder in the girl’s death. Prosecutors say that Cleveland left the dogs alone in his backyard where the fence was loose and damaged even though he knew they were vicious.

The dogs broke out of the fence and attacked the little girl as she was riding bikes with her older brother.

The allegations are that the defendant was harboring dogs he knew to be dangerous. According to the prosecutor in the case, Cleveland had to know the dogs were dangerous because they had killed a puppy in his home the previous week.

Cleveland stands charged with 2nd degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and having a dangerous animal causing death.

Owning a dangerous breed requires that you take extra precautions even when they are in your own yard:

-The dog must be restrained on a leash no longer than six feet.

-The dog must be under your immediate physical control to prevent interaction with

other dogs and humans.

-The dog must be securely confined even while on your own property.

-The dog should be muzzled.

These are just a few of the statutes. Owning such a breed requires a lot of responsibility from an owner. If you violate these, you may end up like Mr. Cleveland.

If you have a legal question, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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