Meadville Tribune

State News

August 10, 2013

SUNDAY ISSUE: Dangerous dogs


HARRISBURG — Finnerty reports from Harrisburg for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.’s Pennsylvania newspapers, including The Meadville Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @cnhipa.


The state Department of Health does not keep track of how many people seek medical attention due to dog bites each year, an agency spokeswoman said. The insurance industry does though. According to Allstate, Pennsylvania had 165 claims for bites in 2012, the fifth-highest number in the nation.

Insurance companies paid out $4.5 million for dog bites in Pennsylvania, an average of $27,272 per dog bite.

Dog bites by county    2012    2013

Crawford    43    15

Mercer    6    13

Statewide    1,161    633

Source: Department of Agriculture. Note: Data only includes incidents handled by state dog wardens and does not include attacks investigated by local police or local animal control officers.

Pennsylvania Dangerous Dog Registry

A dangerous dog is one that has attacked, inflicted severe injury to, or killed a human being or a domestic animal without provocation while off an owner’s property. A dog is also considered dangerous if it was involved in committing a crime. It is unlawful for an owner or keeper of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside the proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration, but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal or from destroying property with its teeth.

Dangerous dogs by county:

Allegheny County: 7 (most in state).

Armstrong: 5

Chester: 5

Lancaster: 5

Northampton: 5

York: 5

Bucks: 5

Delaware: 5

Lehigh: 3

Westmoreland: 3

Butler: 2

Clearfield: 2

Mifflin: 2

Monroe: 2

Counties with one dangerous dog: Adams, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lycoming, McKean, Montgomery, Perry, Schuylkill, Venango, Warren, Wayne.

Source: State Department of Agriculture.

Note: If a county is not listed above, it has no registered dangerous dogs.


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