Was the animal provoked? If the answer is yes, you cannot deem the dog potentially dangerous or vicious.
What is the extent of the victim’s injuries? To deem a dog potentially dangerous the dog has to cause bodily injury in an unprovoked attack.
Was the attack to another domestic animal and was that animal severely injured or killed? If yes, it is up to the municipality to prove which animal was the aggressor.
Title 4 - AGRICULTURE AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS
Section 4:19-23 - Dog declared potentially dangerous; conditions.
Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 4:19-23 (2014)
4:19-23 Dog declared potentially dangerous; conditions.
7. a. The municipal court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:
(1) caused bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.2C:11-1(a) to a person during an unprovoked attack, and poses a serious threat of bodily injury or death to a person, or
(2) severely injured or killed another domestic animal, and
(a) poses a threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person; or
(b) poses a threat of death to another domestic animal, or
(3) has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous for:
(1) causing bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.2C:11-1(a) to a person if the dog was provoked, or
(2) severely injuring or killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor.
For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.
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