What happens to a person’s dog when they go to jail? Here’s What to Expect

Can the police just take your dog?

The police, with the permission of a court, may seize a banned dog even if a complaint hasn’t been made and the dog isn’t acting dangerously. If a banned type of dog is in: … a private place and the police have a warrant for something else (like a drugs search), they can seize your dog.

Negligent Homicide or Murder With a Dog?

In extreme cases, an owner may be charged with negligent homicide when a dog kills someone because the owners failure to control the animal was reckless or criminally negligent. In Louisiana, the negligent homicide law states this explicitly (La. Rev. Stat. § 14:32.)

In a California case that made headlines at the time, a woman was initially convicted of negligent homicide and second-degree murder after her huge Presa Canario dogs attacked and killed a woman in the hallway of their apartment building. Evidence showed that the dogs had a history of threatening people and that the owner had trouble controlling them. The California Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction (because it required proof that the owner had acted with a conscious disregard of danger to human life), but she didnt appeal her conviction for negligent homicide. (People v. Knoller, 158 P.3d 731 (Cal. 2007).)

In another second-degree murder case, the Kansas Supreme Court found that the state didnt have to prove that a dog owner knew her Rottweilers would attack and kill a child, only that she acted recklessly in a way that showed her extreme indifference to the value of human life. The evidence showed that the dogs had a history of menacing behavior, that the woman had “fostered” their aggressiveness by failing to train them properly, and that she had ignored the predictable consequences. (State v. Davidson, 987 P.2d 335 (Kan. 1999).)

If youre facing potential criminal charges because your dog has injured someone, consider speaking with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can explain how the law applies to your situation, explore any defenses you might have, and help you protect your rights. If youre dealing with dangerous-dog proceedings, consult an animal law attorney to assist you and help keep your dog safe.

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    Has any dog gone to jail?

    7. THE TOUGH PRISON PET THAT WAS ACTUALLY A VERY GOOD BOY. Unlike some animals on this list, Pep the dog was a very good boy. But in 1924, Pennsylvania governor Gifford Pinchot allegedly sentenced the dark-haired Labrador to a life sentence without parole.

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