Dog bites happen, and while we can’t eliminate attacks all together, we can give you the information you need to understand dog bite laws in Fairfax County, and the rest of northern Virginia.
Defining Vicious and Dangerous Dogs in Fairfax County
According to county law, a dog will be labeled as viscous if it has killed or caused serious injury (disfigurement, multiple bites, impairment of health or bodily function) to a human, or demonstrates continued behavior that got the dog previously identified as dangerous by a court.
A dog will be identified as dangerous if it has bitten, attacked, or caused injury to a person or companion animal, or killed a companion animal.
Dogs That Have Bitten But Are Not Deemed Dangerous
There are two conditions under which, if a dog has bitten, it will not be categorized as dangerous. They include:
- If the owner of the dog was conducting lawful hunting.
- If the owner of the dog was engaging in a lawful, prearranged dog-handling event.
Are There Dangerous Breeds?
Under Fairfax County law, no dog or any other animal shall be considered dangerous based solely on its breed.
Consequences of Owning a Dog Determined To Be Dangerous
If a court or judge determines that your dog is dangerous, there are a number of steps you must take:
- You must contact the Animal Services Division of your county and collect a dangerous dog registration certificate ($100 in Fairfax County).
- You will obtain a tag that must be worn on your dog’s collar at all times.
- Your dog must be securely enclosed in your yard.
- You must post a clear, visible sign warning all pedestrians that a dangerous dog resides on the premises.
- You will need to have a permanent tattoo placed on the inside of the dog’s thigh, or an electronic implant for means of identification.
- You will need to purchase liability insurance of $100,000 minimum value that will cover dog bites.
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC works with Virginia residents who have suffered dog bites, and are looking to file a personal injury claim. Our veteran dog bite lawyer is versed in Virginia animal law and will work towards gaining you fair compensation. Call us today at 703-906-4229 or send us an email.