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What is a “dangerous” dog?

A “dangerous” dog in New York is one that has been declared as such by a judge following a formal complaint with the municipality. Complaints may be made to an animal control or police officer by anyone who “witnesses an attack or threatened attack upon a person, companion animal, farm animal, or domestic animal.”

A dog deemed “dangerous” by a judge may be subject to several corrective measures, including muzzling in public and neutering or spaying at the owner’s expense.

Under New York law, the owner of a “dangerous” dog may be held strictly liable for a bite victim’s medical costs. This means that the victim does not have to demonstrate the owner did anything wrong in order to be compensated for his or her bite-related medical bills and other losses.

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