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Dog Ordinances All Indianapolis Residents Should Know


In June, the Atlanta City Council voted for new regulations enforcing more stringent requirements on the owners of dangerous or vicious dogs. Atlanta’s new policies are unique in that they do not single out any specific breed of dog, but instead aligns with Georgia law in defining a “dangerous dog” as any dog that has either bitten or threatened someone, and a “vicious dog” as one who has either caused or threatened serious injury to another human or animal.

Once a dog is classified as one of these labels by animal control services, the owner will have to pay $100 for a certificate. They will also need to prove at least $50,000 in liability insurance for a “dangerous” dog, and at least $100,000 for a “vicious” dog. The law also establishes a $500 fine on the owner of a “dangerous” dog for a second violation, and a $750 fine for a violation of a “vicious” dog.

Key Components of the Indianapolis Dangerous Dog Proposal


While the provisions mentioned above are only relevant to Atlanta residents, the issue at hand is not. Vicious dog attacks can happen anywhere, and many states are working to establish protocols similar to those just passed in Atlanta.

In 2006, the Indianapolis City County Council had a similar meeting and passed Proposal No. 370, 2006 (the Dangerous Dog Proposal). Like Atlanta, Indianapolis did not want to target specific breeds in the regulation, but instead decided to classify a dog as either “dangerous” or “vicious” if the dog shows signs of it. The counsel recognized that often times a dog’s aggression is a result of the owner, and as a result any dog can show dangerous signs regardless of breed, particularly if they are mistreated.

In Indianapolis, a “dangerous” dog is defined as one that:

  • Would constitute a danger to human life or property
  • Has previously caused serious injury to a person without first being provoked or purposely threated by the person
  • Has chased or approached a person in some form of menacing fashion
  • Has attacked another domestic animal without cause or threat
  • Is capable of inflicting physical harm or death to a human due to past training or behavior.

Whether you own a dog or your neighbors do, it is important for Indianapolis residents to be familiar with the regulations of the proposal. The proposal states that:

  • Fines relating to lack of specified protocol for dangerous animals can range from $500 to $1000.
  • People can only own 2 classified “dangerous” animals at one time.
  • All dogs must be on a leash when in public, whether dangerous or not.
  • Tethering a dog overnight is not allowed.
  • Tethers must all be at least 12 feet long and have swivels on both ends.

If you were attacked and injured by a dangerous dog because his owner failed to adhere to these regulations, you could be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury lawyers in Indianapolis are ready to help you. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.