Dogs are often said to be "man's best friend, " but when someone is bitten, the consequences can be significant for the victim. Dogs can maim or kill someone rather quickly, especially children.
In New Hampshire, the law defines a dog as a menace, a nuisance or vicious when it:
-- Is at large. This means it is not on the owner's premises and not under anyone's control.
-- Barks for a half hour straight or during the night hours.
-- Scratches, digs, excretes or causes garbage or waste to be strewn around.
-- Is a female dog that is permitted to be at large while in season. A female dog cannot be used for hunting when in heat, either.
-- Growls, runs after, chases or snaps at someone who is not on the owner's premises.
-- Chases or runs after a bicycle, motorcycle or motor vehicle.
-- Bites, preys on or attacks domestic animals, game animals, fowl or human beings.
If someone's skin has been punctured by a dog, the animal control officer will have 24 hours to let the victim know if the dog has had its rabies vaccination. A report must be made that includes the owner's name and the identity of the dog.
If someone violates the law, he or she shall be liable for civil forfeiture. In other words, depending on the past history involving the dog, the owner can be fined between $25 and $400. The owner may also be subjected to a civil lawsuit from the individual who suffered injuries because of the dog.
Source: animallaw.info, "Chapter 466. Dogs and Cats. Muzzing and Restraining Dogs. 466:31 Dogs a Menace, a Nuisance or Vicious," accessed April 21, 2017