2022 Georgia Code
Title 4 - Animals
Chapter 8 - Dogs
Article 2 - Responsible Dog Ownership
§ 4-8-21. Definitions
- As used in this article, the term:
- “Classified dog” means any dog that has been classified as either a dangerous dog or vicious dog pursuant to this article.
- “Dangerous dog” means any dog that:
- Causes a substantial puncture of a person’s skin by teeth without causing serious injury; provided, however, that a nip, scratch, or abrasion shall not be sufficient to classify a dog as dangerous under this subparagraph;
- Aggressively attacks in a manner that causes a person to reasonably believe that the dog posed an imminent threat of serious injury to such person or another person although no such injury occurs; provided, however, that the acts of barking, growling, or showing of teeth by a dog shall not be sufficient to classify a dog as dangerous under this subparagraph; or
- While off the owner’s property, kills a pet animal; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall not apply where the death of such pet animal is caused by a dog that is working or training as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog.
- “Local government” means any county or municipality of this state.
- “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 dog. In the case of a dog owned by a minor, the term “owner” includes the parents or person in loco parentis with custody of the minor.
- “Serious injury” means any physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death; results in death, broken or dislocated bones, lacerations requiring multiple sutures, or disfiguring avulsions; requires plastic surgery or admission to a hospital; or results in protracted impairment of health, including transmission of an infection or contagious disease, or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
- “Vicious dog” means a dog that inflicts serious injury on a person or causes serious injury to a person resulting from reasonable attempts to escape from the dog’s attack.
- No dog shall be classified as a dangerous dog or vicious dog for actions that occur while the dog is being used by a law enforcement or military officer to carry out the law enforcement or military officer’s official duties. No dog shall be classified as a dangerous dog or a vicious dog if the person injured by such dog was a person who, at the time, was committing a trespass, was abusing the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit an offense under Chapter 5 of Title 16.
History. Code 1981, § 4-8-21 , enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 1290, § 4/HB 685.
For article on the 2012 enactment of this Code section, see 29 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 180 (2012).
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