New Dog Bite Law in Seattle - The Trupanion Blog
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New Dog Bite Law in Seattle

Dog in Front of Space Needle
A new law in Seattle defines a 'dangerous' dog.

Recently, the city of Seattle passed a new ordinance that gives Seattle animal control officers much more power to euthanize dogs they deem dangerous. The law is supposed to better define what a dangerous dog is, but many are worried that the language used is too vague. Judge for yourself:

Old law: A dog is labeled dangerous and marked for death or banishment if one’s dog-bite injuries had to involve broken bones or require cosmetic surgery.

New law: A dog is labeled dangerous and marked for death or banishment if one’s physical injury resulted in (1) One or more broken bones. (2) One or more disfiguring lacerations, avulsions, cuts or puncture wounds, requiring medical attention including but not limited to one or more sutures, steri strips or staples. (3) Permanent nerve damage.

The main point of contention is the use of the phrase ‘medical attention’ in item two. Many wonder if that phrase will provide a loophole, considering some can claim that even wrapping a bandage around a small laceration on a finger could be considered ‘medical attention’.

The ambiguity of this new law worries many Seattle-area dog owners, who worry it could lead to claims being dismissed that are warranted, or claims that are unwarranted going forward.

What do you think about the wording of this new law? Do you think it’s a good idea or did they miss the mark?

To read the full article, visit the Seattle Weekly’s website here.

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