2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 4 - ANIMALS
CHAPTER 8 - DOGS
ARTICLE 2 - DANGEROUS DOG CONTROL
§ 4-8-21 - Definitions

O.C.G.A. 4-8-21 (2010)
4-8-21. Definitions


(a) As used in this article, the term:

(1) "Dangerous dog" means any dog that, according to the records of an appropriate authority:

(A) Inflicts a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property at any time after March 31, 1989; or

(B) Aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans without provocation after the dog has been classified as a potentially dangerous dog and after the owner has been notified of such classification.

(2) "Dog control officer" means an individual selected by a local government pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of Code Section 4-8-22 to aid in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article.

(3) "Governing authority" means the governing body or official in which the legislative powers of a local government are vested.

(4) "Local government" means any county or municipality of this state.

(5) "Owner" means any natural person or any legal entity, including, but not limited to, a corporation, partnership, firm, or trust owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, or having custody or control of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog within this state.

(6) "Potentially dangerous dog" means any dog that without provocation bites a human being on public or private property at any time after March 31, 1989.

(7) "Proper enclosure" means an enclosure for keeping a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog while on the owner's property securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping. Any such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top, and, if the dog is enclosed within a fence, all sides of the fence shall be of sufficient height and the bottom of the fence shall be constructed or secured in such a manner as to prevent the dog's escape either from over or from under the fence. Any such enclosure shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog.

(8) "Records of an appropriate authority" means records of any state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency; records of any county or municipal animal control agency; records of any county board of health; records of any federal, state, or local court; or records of a dog control officer provided for in this article.

(9) "Severe injury" means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery or a physical injury that results in death.

(b) A dog that inflicts an injury upon a person when the dog is being used by a law enforcement officer to carry out the law enforcement officer's official duties shall not be a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog within the meaning of this article. A dog shall not be a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog within the meaning of this article if the injury inflicted by the dog was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort or was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or had in the past been observed or reported to have tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

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