If you have been bitten by a dog or almost bitten by a dog, you might be wondering what your rights are under the law. The law in New Hampshire is very clear about when an animal becomes a nuisance, menace or is vicious.
A dog is considered to be those things if it has run away and is "at large," if it has barked continuously or if it has growled or snapped at a person. If it has chased cars continuously or bitten a person, it is also considered vicious.
If a dog has bitten a person and broken that person's skin, then animal control must be called. Animal control officers must be able to tell the victim of the dog bite if the dog was vaccinated against rabies within 24 hours, because if not, the person will need to receive a number of medications to prevent the disease.
What does it mean for a dog to be at large? If it's not on the owner's property or under the control of a person who can control its conduct, then it's considered to be at large.
Dogs used for hunting or herding, exhibition or training do not fall under this category, since they may be working out of sight of the owner. Those dogs must be within seeing or hearing range, or the owner must know where the dog is when it's not in his or her sight.
If a person is not able to comply with the requests of police or animal control following an incident, then the dog may be taken into custody by the police. At that point, it's up to the court to determine what will happen to the dog. If it is ill with rabies, for instance, it will likely be put down. If the dog was causing minor issues, like noise violations, the dog may be removed from the home in some cases.
For more information on dog bites in New Hampshire please visit our New Hampshire Dog Bite Injury Lawyer page.