2005 California Food and Agricultural Code Sections 31601-31609 Article 1. Findings, Definitions, and General ProvisionsFOOD AND AGRICULTURAL CODE
31601. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Potentially dangerous and vicious dogs have become a serious and widespread threat to the safety and welfare of citizens of this state. In recent years, they have assaulted without provocation and seriously injured numerous individuals, particularly children, and have killed numerous dogs. Many of these attacks have occurred in public places. (b) The number and severity of these attacks are attributable to the failure of owners to register, confine, and properly control vicious and potentially dangerous dogs. (c) The necessity for the regulation and control of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs is a statewide problem, requiring statewide regulation, and existing laws are inadequate to deal with the threat to public health and safety posed by vicious and potentially dangerous dogs. 31602. "Potentially dangerous dog" means any of the following: (a) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog. (b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing a less severe injury than as defined in Section 31604. (c) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog. 31603. "Vicious dog" means any of the following: (a) Any dog seized under Section 599aa of the Penal Code and upon the sustaining of a conviction of the owner or keeper under subdivision (a) of Section 597.5 of the Penal Code. (b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being. (c) Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous dog which, after its owner or keeper has been notified of this determination, continues the behavior described in Section 31602 or is maintained in violation of Section 31641, 31642, or 31643. 31604. "Severe injury" means any physical injury to a human being that results in muscle tears or disfiguring lacerations or requires multiple sutures or corrective or cosmetic surgery. 31605. "Enclosure" means a fence or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children, and which is suitable to confine a vicious dog in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper of the dog. The enclosure shall be designed in order to prevent the animal from escaping. The animal shall be housed pursuant to Section 597t of the Penal Code. 31606. "Animal control department" means the county or city animal control department. If the city or county does not have an animal control department, it means whatever entity performs animal control functions. 31607. "Impounded" means taken into the custody of the public pound or animal control department or provider of animal control services to the city or county where the potentially dangerous or vicious dog is found. 31608. "County" includes any city and county. 31609. (a) This chapter does not apply to licensed kennels, humane society shelters, animal control facilities, or veterinarians. (b) This chapter does not apply to dogs while utilized by any police department or any law enforcement officer in the performance of police work.
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