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It's unlawful to own or harbor a dangerous dog in Worcester

Pet owners in Massachusetts often consider their dogs to be like members of the family. Dogs offer companionship, protection and even amusement to countless individuals and families. As with all animals, though, dogs can be unpredictable and a dog bite attack can seemingly spring out of nowhere. Consequently, state and local laws dictate how officials respond - and how victims can move forward - following a dog bite attack.

Commonly known as "leash laws," there are many local ordinances regarding dogs in Worcester. There is a 24-hour leash law throughout Worcester; dogs must be leashed whenever off the property of the pet owner. This does not mean, though, that the victim of a dog attack can't pursue compensation if the bite took place on the owner's property. A Worcester dog bite attorney can explain the many common situations in which a bite victim can obtain compensation for damages and hold a negligent owner accountable.

A leash law violation might cost the pet owner a $50 fine, while the same may be true if the owner has failed to properly license the canine. All dogs, even if they live primarily indoors, must be licensed with the city clerk's office unless they are younger than six months. Vaccinations are also required in Worcester, including immunizations against damaging and potentially deadly diseases such as rabies. A dog bite victim bit by a rabid dog is likely to need immediate emergency medical attention - as a result it is vitally important for all dog owners to ensure their pet is vaccinated against rabies and other diseases.

Another rule in Worcester is that no person shall keep a dangerous dog. This means a dog that bites or attacks without provocation; is owned or trained for dogfighting; has been impounded by animal control more than three times in a year; or is harbored on property used by gangs or for drug trafficking.

It's important for pet owners to be aware of local laws and regulations. It's also helpful for dog bite victims to know there are resources available for obtaining compensation after an attack. Money for medical expenses and more can be desperately needed after an unexpected attack. A local personal injury attorney can offer dog bite victim guidance and legal advice.

Source: Worcesterma.gov, "Animal Control," accessed Feb. 27, 2016

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