My dog was declared dangerous, can we stop him from getting put down?

by Beck
(St. Charles, MO)

I have an American Bulldog and a Pitbull that are very loving. They were raised from babies living with my 2 girls (now 4 and 6). They have never attacked anyone or another animal. On Feb 8th I was out front of my home and my 2 dogs were in the fenced backyard (that they have never gotten out of).

All of a sudden, I heard this man saying "get back," so I ran over and my American Bulldog looked as if he was playing with a rat terrier a man had on a leash. It turns out the people next door had a visitor and he was walking his rat terrier on a leash right by my gate.

We have never seen this dog before. My dog must have gotten out under the fence somehow, but this would have been very difficult and must have taken him some time. The man didn't pick the little dog up, but instead dragged him by the leash. I pushed my dog off of the little dog, but the little dog wasn't moving.

There was no blood or any puncture wounds, so my dog must have been playing very rough with this dog and squashed it, or the owner hung it by pulling it up by the leash.

The neighbors called the Police and Animal Control came out and took my dog. They have him in quarantine where he is locked in a small crate and they aren't allowing him to go outside. I cant even see him unless it's through the kennel gate.

Now they are telling me they are labeling him as DANGEROUS and will have him euthanized. We filed a hearing to fight this and get our dog back, but are waiting on a date. I could see if my dog had prior acts of being aggressive, or if the little dog had bite wounds on him, but it didn't.

How can I make sure they don't put my dog down? How can I fight this or make my case? I am willing to do whatever I need to. I have an appointment with the fence company to come out and secure my fence this weekend.

Also, I'm receiving threatening calls from my neighbor cussing me out. She actually left one voicemail, which I am saving. Does this affect the case? Can I do anything about it? I'm already dealing with a lot and am not looking for mean answers, only some help. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My dog was declared dangerous, can we stop him from getting put down?":

Beck (St. Charles, MO):

Missouri law regarding dog bites without provocation holds the dog owner strictly liable for damages. See the following law, Section 273.036:

"The owner or possessor of any dog that bites, without provocation, any person while such person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner or possessor of the dog, is strictly liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's or possessor's knowledge of such viciousness.

Owners and possessors of dogs shall also be strictly liable for any damage to property or livestock proximately caused by their dogs. If it is determined that the damaged party had fault in the incident, any damages owed by the owner or possessor of the biting dog shall be reduced by the same percentage that the damaged party's fault contributed to the incident."


We were unable to locate Missouri law regarding the euthanizing of a dog because of an unprovoked attack.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for My dog was declared dangerous, can we stop him from getting put down?

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ONCE IS TOO OFTEN
by: Anonymous

I just lost my little Yorkie mix to a pit bull attack. My granddaughter and her friend were walking him on a leash when a passing pit bull broke loose and grabbed him.

It took 2 adult men to restrain the PB long enough to release my dog - he was rushed to the emergency vet and declared DOA - so I have NO SYMPATHY for this lady.

Not only did I lose my pet, but my granddaughter has had nightmares based on what she witnessed. On top of that she feels guilty that it happened while she was walking him.

I can only thank God that there were adults there that helped and she was not the next victim. Throughout the ordeal - the owner just stood by and WATCHED!!

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