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Pennsylvania’s Dangerous-Dog List Has Bite

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By Robyn Sidersky for The Patriot-News

Joker once raced in Daytona, Fla. These days, he’s lucky just to get out of his owner’s house in Lower Paxton Twp.
After an incident with another dog, the 100-pound greyhound landed on Pennsylvania’s dangerous-dog list. Several court proceedings later, Joker isn’t considered dangerous and his name is off the list. But his owner, Sharon Davis, remains extremely careful with him around other dogs.

The state maintains a dangerous-dog list through the Department of Agriculture.

The purpose: to get dogs who are deemed harmful to other people or animals under more stringent watch, decreasing the chances that the dog does harm, said Justin Fleming, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture.

There are 335 dogs on the state’s list. York County has 17 dangerous dogs, Dauphin County has seven, Cumberland has five, and Lebanon County has three. Perry County doesn’t have any. Owners of 21 dogs on the list are appealing their status, according to the Department of Agriculture.

A dangerous dog is one that has attacked, inflicted severe injury to or killed a human or a domestic animal without provocation while off an owner’s property, according to the department.

After the dog is reported to the state, the dog gets on the list by being deemed dangerous by a judge. Then the owner must pay $500 to the Department of Agriculture to register the dog, keep it enclosed and post a warning sign, keep the dog muzzled and leashed if it goes outside, spay or neuter the dog, and post bond or buy a $50,000 liability insurance policy.

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