Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

Dangerous dog breeds: aggression and public safety

New Jersey residents love their four-legged friends, and many even consider them members of the family. Dogs have long been associated with comfort and companionship, but there are a number of breeds that have raised debate over the years in regard to their temperament. Unfortunately, some breeds are known to exhibit higher levels of aggression than others.

Earlier this month, the American Bully became a hot topic breed in the Vernon area of New Jersey. The New Jersey Herald highlighted the story in which a Pit Bull mix viciously attacked its owner's neighbor. The neighbor, who had attempted to leash the dog after it broke loose from its owner's yard, suffered serious injuries to his face. The Herald reported that the Vernon Municipal Court had sentenced the dog to euthanasia as a result.

Currently, New Jersey's dog bite law allows law enforcement to impound any dog who inflicts unprovoked injury to another person or animal. Despite this law, the court had initially attempted to spare the dog's life by deeming it "potentially dangerous" instead of "vicious." However, the dog's owner failed to take proactive safety steps to ensure her dog would not break loose from her yard again, resulting in the dog's euthanasia.

Any tragic dog attack can result in a whirlwind of physical and emotional pain. The American Veterinary Medical Association weighs in on the ongoing debate over Pit Bulls and their tendency to become aggressive. Calling Pit Bulls the poster child for breed bans across the country, the AVMA goes on to share that 4.5 million people become victims of dog bites in the U.S. each year. Although it is clear that Pit Bulls have a tendency for aggression, the AVMA notes that it can be difficult to pinpoint exact breeds. While many argue over local breed bans, claiming regulations should instead focus on individual temperament rather than breed, New Jersey residents should feel safe in their own living spaces. Part of that security means keeping potentially dangerous animals out of the picture.  



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