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Dangerous or Vicious Dogs

This article is valid as of May 31, 2018

In Nevada, knowingly keeping a vicious dog is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine. NRS 200.500.

If the dog is: (1) known to be vicious; and (2) attacks someone resulting in substantial bodily harm, its owner or keeper is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished by 1-4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Further, a judge may order a dangerous or vicious dog to be humanely killed.

This law does not apply to a dog used by a law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duty.

Under NRS 200.500, a dog is dangerous if:

1. A law enforcement agency declares the dog dangerous if the dog was used in the commission of a crime; or

2. Within 18 months, on 2 separate occasions, it behaves menacingly to a degree that would lead a reasonable person to defend himself or herself against substantial bodily harm, when the dog was either off the premises of its owner or keeper not confined in a cage, pen or vehicle.

A dog is vicious if:

1. Without being provoked, it killed or inflicted substantial bodily harm upon a human being; or

2. After its owner or keeper had been notified by a law enforcement agency that the dog is dangerous, the dog continued the behavior described in paragraph (a).

Under this law, a dog cannot be found dangerous or vicious based solely its breed; in fact, local governments cannot adopt or enforce laws that deem a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog. Additionally, this law does not prohibit a dog from acting defensively against a person who was committing or attempting to commit a crime or who provoked/tormented or subjected the dog to pain.

It is also a misdemeanor to own or keep a vicious dog, for more than 7 days after you actual notice that the dog is vicious; or to transfers ownership of a vicious dog after having actual notice that the dog is vicious.

If you have questions about dangerous or vicious dogs or are being charged with this crime, call us to speak to an attorney immediately.