Massachusetts Cop Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new here (I'm not in law nor am I a police officer) I appologise for invading your board! But I don't who else to ask this question and hoped maybe someone here would know. I belong to a German Shepherd board and one of the topics is about "Beware of Dog" signs. Does anyone know what the law is on these signs in MA?

Some people are saying having this sign is a liability. That it could be taken as an admission that your dog is dangerous. I was always under the impression that having this sing was to protect the homeowner in the sense if someone is stupid enough to enter my yard after reading the sign it is out my hands should my dog decide to bite. (my GS puppy wouldn't bite he's 10 months old but my last GS definately would not have let anyone in my house if he didn't know them or if I wasn't there to tell him it was ok).

Thanks for any input on this!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
First off, welcome to the board, I hope you enjoy it.

You pose an interesting question. In regards to animal control laws, I'm not aware of any regarding signage. Perhaps Somerville has a city ordnance regarding this, you'd have to check with the city. Beyond that, the issue you are referring to sounds more like a civil liability matter than a criminal issue.

I'm NOTan attorney, so I can't give legal advice. However, I can give you my opinion. I can't see how a sign could realistically open you to litigation. "Beware of Dog" could mean anything from, "If you walk on my property, my dog will tear your limbs off" to "If your allergic to fur, you might not want to come to my front door". Heck, you could post the sign even if you don't have a dog. The warning in and of itself, doesn't necessarily mean the dog is dangerous. I can't see you being liable for a sign. The DOG however is a different story. Sign or no sign, if your dog bites the mailman's ear off, you've probably got a problem. More so if YOU KNOW that your dog is prone to poor behavior.

-Eric
 

·
Out of the Loop
Joined
·
2,512 Posts
Sign or no sign, one thing I am aware of when it comes to certain breeds as household pets, your home insurance may be higher. I don't think it will make you anymore prone to lawsuits because some people put them in front of their homes to deter burglars and tresspassers when they don't even have a dog.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the welcome!

Eric, I loved your quote: "Beware of Dog" could mean anything from, "If you walk on my property, my dog will tear your limbs off" to "If your allergic to fur, you might not want to come to my front door"... You should be an attoryney!

Thankfully my homeowners insurance doesn't have GS's on their "black list" of dogs. I do know in MA if anyone tresspasses on your property, taunts or teases your dog the dog owner is not held responsible if the dog bites. I do not fear my dog biting anyone, he is on his way to a very well trained dog. We are going for his CGC title pretty soon. He actually loves the UPS guy! I take him everywhere with me from the post office, video store, hardware stores etc to keep him social. I was just very surprised at the topic of Dog signs on the GS board and was curious to the legalities of it as I do have a beware of dog sign posted. I will try to find out what Somervilles ordinance is on this.

Thanks again!
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1st Welcome to our piece of the web.

BEWARE: To be wary, cautious, or careful of.

According to Websters 2nd edition.

That said: It could impy anything ranging from"Dont come near here my dogs is rabid" to "Stay away My dog is allergic to humans".So I would tend to agree w/ lead on that aspect.

I use to own a Rottie and from the way I understand it, its a more of a liability if you dont post any type of warning, obviously "Beware of Dog " is the universal signage to give people a heads up what they could encounter but is not specific as to what the waring is for, good dog or bad dog. However I'am also not a lawyer so dont take what I'm saying as gospel. But I would tend to think posting the warning wouldnt release you from all liability but it may limit it as to how what you would be responable for and what you would not be responable if the dog bit someone. In my opinon if I had any doubts I would post the sign.

But these days everyone is SUE happy so I would take all precautions, therea a lot to be said for that ol clique "Better safe than sorry".

I have an old law book relating to dogs and animal control, check chapter/s 140 sections 136a thru 175. This book is dated so double check those laws. here is the link to Mass General Laws and try a search.

http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/index.htm

Hope this helps.
 

·
Founder of MassCops
Joined
·
6,401 Posts
Officer Dunngeon said:
Sign or no sign, one thing I am aware of when it comes to certain breeds as household pets, your home insurance may be higher. I don't think it will make you anymore prone to lawsuits because some people put them in front of their homes to deter burglars and trespassers when they don't even have a dog.
yeah Dunny yours must be through the roof with that ferocious guard dog of yours :L:
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gil said:
Officer Dunngeon said:
Sign or no sign, one thing I am aware of when it comes to certain breeds as household pets, your home insurance may be higher. I don't think it will make you anymore prone to lawsuits because some people put them in front of their homes to deter burglars and trespassers when they don't even have a dog.
yeah Dunny yours must be through the roof with that ferocious guard dog of yours :L:
I bet Dunnys pooch will make a hell of a mess out of someones ankles. :L:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
n1k1ta said:
Thank you for the welcome!

Eric, I loved your quote
Thank you - I appreciate the compliment! ;-)

You should be an attorney!
People (friends, coworkers,enemies) keep telling me this. I'm not exactly sure what to make of it, or what it says about me. I guess it's a compliment. It frightens me a little bit though! :p

-Eric
 

·
Founder of MassCops
Joined
·
6,401 Posts
I bet Dunnys pooch will make a hell of a mess out of someones ankles.
not sure about that, it seems to be mesmerized by the web cam, he has been staring at us for months now, and you notice he never blinks. :wink:
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hunter thanks for the link I will check that out!!

Dunngeon, they are sooo cute...I see they have the bed just like my guy.. i hate it when my pup stands on me in the morning to wake me up, he's 85 lbs now!
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Officer Dunngeon said:
FIRST of all, HE is a SHE... and there are TWO she's, and they are both terrifying and ferocious! Don't let their innocent looks fool you!

Dunny,

Looking at the photo of the dog on your lap soo reminds of the Taco Bell dog, you know the old commercial w/ godzilla in it (dumb I know) but It cracked me up.
 

·
Out of the Loop
Joined
·
2,512 Posts
n1k1ta, thank you, they are quite the spoiled brats. Remember the Dr. Seuss book, "Hop on Pop"? Well, I'm Pop... they do they same thing to me... I guess they somehow mistake me for a trampoline.

Hunter,

Everywhere I go with Rosie people scream at her, "Yo quiero Taco Bell!"
"Hey, poochie... want some tacos?"
"Gimme the chalupa! Where's the chalupa?"

The poor little thing... she's a victim of Mexican stereotyping...
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top