This Pennsylvania statute provides the construction of the dangerous dog chapter in the state. It outlines the exceptions under the dangerous dog law as well as the enforcement procedure for one who is attacked by such dog. It also specifically states that any provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. Further, a local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.
(a) Enforcement.--This article shall be enforced by all municipalities except counties.
(b) Abusive or unlawful conduct of victim.--This article shall not apply if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
(c) Local ordinances.--Those provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. A local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.
(d) Insurance coverage discrimination.--No liability policy or surety bond issued pursuant to this act or any other act may prohibit coverage from any specific breed of dog.
(e) Farm dogs.--No farmer who owns a dog kept on the farm shall be guilty of keeping a dangerous dog if:
(1) the dog does not leave the farm property to attack; and
(2) the farm is conspicuously posted alerting visitors to the presence of a watch or guard dog at all points of ingress and egress.
(f) Procedure in certain cities.--In cities of the first class, second class and second class A, the following procedure shall apply:
(1) A person who has been attacked by a dog, or anyone on behalf of such person, or a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation while the attacking dog was off the owner's property or a police officer or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city may make a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owner or keeper of such a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The magisterial district judge shall make a report of the determination under section 502-A(a) [FN1] to the police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city and to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement shall give notice of this determination to the respective city treasurer.
(2) All fees and fines shall be paid to and retained by the city treasurers, who shall issue the certificate of registration.
(3) Enforcement of this article in these cities will be under the jurisdiction of the local police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city with notification requirements in section 503-A(d)(2) to be made to the licensing authority and the local police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city.
(4) Copies of all dangerous dog determinations, certificates and reports on the status of the dangerous dog shall be sent to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.
(5) All known incidents of dog attacks shall be reported to the department for the purpose of keeping bite statistic records and possible rabies exposure.
1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 507-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.1, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].
[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-502-A.