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Dangerous Dogs

Under the Revised Code of Washington, there are two main “dangerous dog” offenses: Ownership of an Unregistered Dangerous Dog (RCW 16.08.080) and Failure to Restrain a Dangerous Dog (RCW 16.08.090). Both crimes are gross misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by up to a year in jail and a five thousand dollar fine. However, in certain circumstances, a dangerous dog offense may be punishable as a Class C felony. Conviction also carries with it the possibility of dog forfeiture.
Additionally, many cities that have their own municipal codes also have laws penalizing possession of dangerous dogs. Everett, Lake Stevens and Seattle, Washington, for example, have their own provisions.
Under RCW 16.08.080, it is unlawful for an owner to have a dangerous dog without a “certificate of registration.” The certificate of registration will show that the owner has the dog properly confined, has posted warning signs, and either has insurance for the dog or has posed a security bond.
Under RCW 16.08.090, it is unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside the proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal.
As stated above, municipalities have enacted their own regulations for dangerous dogs. Below are a few.
Seattle's SMC 9.25.083 states: "It is unlawful to own a dangerous animal (other than a licensed guard or attack dog) with knowledge that the animal is dangerous, or with reckless disregard of the fact that the animal is dangerous."
Everett's EMC 6.08.025 requires dangerous dogs to be microchipped.
Lynnwood's 6.02.025 provides rules for dangerous animals, providing "It is unlawful for a person to own a dangerous animal within the city limits unless that person has a current certificate of registration for that animal."
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.
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