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A Clark County Animal Control officer can declare a dog dangerous if – on two separate occasions in an 18-month period – the dog:
Though dogs will not be classified as dangerous for only behaving menacingly towards or biting another animal that – or person who – either:
Also, police dogs (K-9s) may bite without being declared dangerous. Note that dog owners/keepers can request a hearing to contest the dog’s dangerous designation. Though this hearing must be requested within 72 hours of the person receiving notice of the dangerous designation.1
In general, it is unlawful for people to knowingly possess, shelter, own, or to transfer ownership of, a dangerous dog within unincorporated Clark County. Though there is an exception where people may keep dangerous dogs if all of the following ten conditions are met:
Animal Control’s denial of a right to transfer a dangerous dog can be reviewed at a hearing.
Note that permits to keep a dangerous dog will be revoked if the dog – without provocation – bites or attempts to bite any person or animal lawfully upon the permit property or any other property. The permit will also be revoked if the dog owner/keeper violates the aforementioned conditions.
If a dangerous dog owner/keeper fails to renew the permit in time, the dog will be impounded at animal control for 14 days. The owner can apply few a new permit during this time at a cost of $200, plus the costs of impoundment.
It is a misdemeanor to keep a dangerous dog without a permit or after the permit has been revoked. Penalties include up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to six months in jail.2
A Clark County Animal Control officer can declare a dog vicious if the dog:
Though dogs will not be classified as vicious for inflicting substantial bodily harm or killing:
A dog also will not be classified as vicious if another person placed his/her hands between the dog’s jaws, and this did not proximately cause the person’s death or substantial bodily harm. Also, police dogs (K-9s) may cause serious injury through biting without being declared vicious.
It is unlawful for people to knowingly possess, shelter, own, or to transfer ownership of, a vicious animal within unincorporated Clark County. There are no exceptions.
Dog owners/keepers can contest the vicious designation at a hearing and then appeal for judicial review. If the court upholds a vicious animal declaration, the animal control officer may kill the dog once 10 days have elapsed from the date the dog owner/keeper receives notice of the decision.3
When a dog owner/keeper suspects the dog has rabies, he/she must immediately notify a veterinarian or health officer for an examination or inspection. Dogs that turn out to be rabid get impounded until the dog is treated and recovers, at the owner’s expense.
If a dog that is vaccinated against rabies bites a person or animal, the owner/keeper must confine the dog for 10 days and post a quarantine notice.
Note that law enforcement has the legal authority to enter private or public property in order to ascertain whether there is a rabid dog on the premises.4
Impounded, unclaimed dogs in Clark County generally may not be adopted if they have bitten people before. Though there is an exception if:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.