What constitutes provocation for an animal? By nature and/or training, most dogs will protect their territory. It is wholly unfair to punish and even kill them for their instincts.
It is imperative that a fair hearing is conducted whenever the local authorities, such as the police, animal control, or City/Town boards, intend to deprive someone of their freedom or property. Even though dogs are considered as property in the current state of the law, it is essential for pet owners to be informed well in advance about the hearing and have the opportunity to present a strong defense. The rights of pet owners include being able to explore various alternatives before considering surrendering their dogs or resorting to euthanasia. Understanding the relevant state and local laws is crucial during hearings involving dangerous dogs, and it is not uncommon for Animal Attorneys to find ourselves educating the very individuals responsible for making decisions. This is nothing new, but it IS important for people to know their rights when it comes to their pets!
Dogs may exhibit various behaviors such as biting, barking, or growling for a multitude of reasons. Typically, when a dog barks, growls, or lunges, it is attempting to communicate its discomfort with the current situation. Such cases are strange animals entering your yard, trespassers or other human provocations or harassments; all of which are in various Statutes as protections for the dog. In addition to vocalizations, dogs also utilize their eyes, ears, tails, tongue, and even teeth to convey multiple warning signs. These signs serve as an indication that if a dog or person fails to give them space, a bite may occur. Even with other animals, the consensus is the same; even a horse will pin their ears back to deliver warnings. In court, victims often exaggerate their injuries and the extent of harm caused or are not truthful about the reasons why the dog did what they did, if anything. Statutory language provides dogs cannot be found vicious if they were provoked, harassed, etc. So, here at Teper Legal, we rely on factual evidence regarding the case and dog behavior to counteract the emotional frenzy. Our objective is to arrive at the correct decision through a rational approach. While there are instances where an animal may need to be euthanized, it is crucial that the decision is based on factual evidence rather than the biased opinion of an individual. We at Teper Legal fight to avoid kill orders and euthanasia if it can be avoided. "Necessary" as often described by Animal Control Departments is a relative term and Necessary doesn't always mean "Absolutely Necessary." Other less drastic measures must be attempted first; this is where Teper Legal comes in!
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