The first thing I want to say is that I am not going to lie and tell you that I have never been involved with dog fighting or any other illegal activity. However, I do not think it was my fault because I did everything right. My dogs were well trained and they always followed all the rules. They even won awards at competitions!
But, what if your dog does something wrong? What if your dog breaks the law? What if your dog bites someone? How do you handle such situations?
Dog Fighting Laws
I believe that there are certain laws which must be enforced. If these laws are broken then punishment will come down hard on those responsible. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs don’t follow the rules and get punished instead. These types of cases are very rare though since most of the time dogs just break the law unintentionally or without knowing how to properly behave in a particular situation.
There are several different laws that can be applied against dogs that violate them. Some of the laws include:
Animal cruelty (most likely)
Dangerous dog (likely)
Breeding violation (probably)
In some cases, the owner may face criminal charges depending on the circumstances. For example, if your dog bit another person while biting him/her, then you would probably face animal cruelty charges. If you own a fighting dog or have several dogs and the animal control comes to inspect your property, then you might face breeding violation charges. In some cases, if your dog bit someone who trespassed on your property and the other person did not report it to the police, then you probably would not be charged with any crime. The situation is unique for each owner so you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer if your dog bites someone.
General Dog Legislation (Non-Fighting Dogs)
As a dog owner, you should always obey the law and make sure that your dog is behaving properly. If you own a non-fighting dog then there are some common laws that you should know about. I am going to list some of the most common types of legislation that may affect your dog in some way (this is not an extensive list).
Leash laws. Certain areas require that animals (especially dogs) be on a leash at all times when outside. Also, some areas have extended these laws to certain areas such as public parks or even multi-family housing complexes. Check your local and state laws if you plan on taking your dog outside on a regular basis.
Livestock laws. If you own a herding dog that likes to chase things, then you might not want to live on a farm. Herding dogs have a natural instinct to chase and sometimes kill small animals such as chickens, goats, sheep, etc. Herding dogs can get themselves into trouble if they run across a farm with livestock on it.
Noise complaints. Some people get very annoyed when dogs bark or howl for long periods of time. This is especially true if the owner lets the dog do this at three o’clock in the morning. There are noise laws that prevent animals (and sometimes people) from disturbing the peace.
Pooper scooper laws. If you do not pick up your dog’s poop, then you can be cited by law enforcement or even be sued by other people.
Who wants to step in poop?
Animal control. Most governments have a division that is supposed to enforce the animal-related laws in their respective areas. In some areas, the law is not enforced well or is just very strict. Some animal control officers have been known to search homes on suspicion of having fighting dogs just because the dog was large and potentially dangerous-looking.
Sell animals without a license. If you sell dogs (or other animals) for a living then you need to obtain a seller’s permit from your local government office. Selling one or two pets is not usually a problem but seller’s permits are closely regulated.
Responsible Dog Ownership
The information listed above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dog-related legal issues. Owning a dog can be a great experience as long as you are a responsible pet owner. Dogs are dependent on their owners for everything. They cannot go to the store and buy their own food or go to the doctor when they are sick. It is our job as dog owners to make sure that their basic needs are met, that they are safe and healthy, and that they are integrated into our human society in a positive manner.
If you do not think that you can handle the responsibility of owning a dog then please spay or neuter your pet and give it up for adoption. There are many people that want to give a good home to a dog, but do not have the time or energy to provide one. Be a responsible pet owner and spay or neuter your animals.
One last word of advice: Be careful about what you read on the internet. Many of the articles that I have come across on dogs (and other pets) seem to be written by animal “activists”. These are people that have a strong belief that animals should be allowed to do whatever they want and that their owners should not have any control over them. I have to say that I (as well as most true dog lovers) disagree with these philosophies. Dogs are domesticated animals that need to be controlled by their owners or risk becoming a nuisance to society at large.
True dog lovers respect dogs enough to make sure that they behave in a manner that is acceptable to human society. Just like children, dogs need rules and boundaries. Even if you do not want your dog to perform any of the activities that I listed above, it can still be a good idea to train your dog. You should teach him to walk nicely on leash, to come when called, and to sit when asked. My Shepherd mix, Pharaoh, knows all of these commands and more. He is a very well-behaved dog and a joy to be around because he listens to me.
I hope that you enjoyed this article and that it has enlightened you on the subject of dog ownership. Dogs are truly amazing creatures that deserve our love and respect. When we take on the responsibility of owning a dog, we become their pack leaders. It is up to us to make sure that they do not misbehave and that they are content with their roles in life. Being a responsible dog owner not only makes life better for our pets, but it also makes our community a better place to live.
This “Dog Owner’s Guide” was written in honor of my friend’s dog, Sebastian. Sebastian was an extremely well-behaved and well-loved dog that made a great pet for my friends. Unfortunately he was struck by a car and killed while they were out walking one day. R.I.P Sebastian, you will be missed.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador by P Mattinson – 2015 – books.google.com
Choosing the Perfect Puppy by P Mattinson – 2017 – books.google.com
The ultimate hunting dog reference book: A comprehensive guide to more than 60 sporting breeds by V Lamb – 2015 – books.google.com
Hunting Dogs: Different Breeds and Special Purposes by S Meyer – 2012 – books.google.com