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Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues published

17th August 2009

Centre Fellow, Professor Joan Schaffner, has edited a recently released book published by the American Bar Association (ABA) entitled: The Lawyer’s Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues.

The ABA describes the new book as:

This one-of-a-kind book discusses the handling of “dangerous dogs” by the law and private associations. Today, many dogs are deemed dangerous, not on the traits of the individual animal, but by breed alone. The authors explain why breed discrimination is immoral, unfair, and ineffective, and discuss progressive approaches to better handle reckless owners and their dogs, and share strategies for prosecuting and defending dangerous dog cases.

Topics include an overview of ordinances targeting reckless owners, the concept of canine profiling, the constitutionality of breed-specific legislation, enforcing and defending dangerous dog laws, and information on dangerous dog registries and hearings. You’ll discover how to use witnesses including victims, animal control officers, physicians and animal behaviorists, and find a primer on homeowners insurance and dog ownership. The book also delves into breed discrimination by homeowner associations and zoning boards.

While there is nothing wrong with laws restricting vicious dogs, to have a dog seized or destroyed solely on the basis of its breed flies in the face of common decency. Be ready for the expanding field of animal law with this unique and informative book on dangerous dog issues.

Professor Schaffner commented: “Dogs and their owners are being discriminated against solely because of the dog’s breed. While the protection of public safety from ‘dangerous dogs’ is an important government goal, legislation that targets specific breeds is ineffective, inefficient, and unfair.”