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    P.O. Box 178
    Bucks County
    Perkasie, Pennsylvania 18944
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    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
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PA DOG WARDENS

Failure to Confine – What is “Premises” of Dog Owner?

Posted on: December 4th, 2013  padog

In Allegheny County, a woman was walking on a private road situated on a right-of-way that crosses through the defendant dog owner’s property. The defendant’s dog was unrestrained and attacked the woman. He was charged with violating Section 305 of the PA Dog Law:  Failure to Confine.  The dog owner claimed that since the attack took place on his property and the dog was on his “premises,” he was compliant with the PA Dog Law.

The Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas convicted the dog owner and he appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.  In Commonwealth v. Glumac, 717 A.2d 572 (Pa. Super. 1998), the lower court ruling was affirmed. The purpose of this statute is “to require dog owners to prevent their dogs from running at large.”  In rejecting the dog owner’s claim of innocence, the court concluded: “Any portion of an owner’s property which is open to the public, in this case a right-of-way, is not within the owner’s control and therefore not the owner’s premises under the meaning of this section.” Id. at 574.