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Inside the Police Reports: Vicious Animal Attack

A neighbor is attacked by a German shepherd. Also, read what Gwinnett County considers a vicious animal, rules for restraining your pets, and more.

On Nov. 14, approximately 7:35 a.m., Lilburn Police Department arrived at the 4400 block of Sheila Court on report of a vicious animal.

A man met with police and stated that he had been attacked by a neighborhood dog.

The victim said that he was walking through the neighborhood and decided to stop and talk to the dog's owner about new renovations to his home when the attack happened.

According to the report, the victim was standing the roadway with his hands in his pockets when a large, unrestrained German shepherd came from the back of his owners' home. The dog then bit the victim on the hand.

The owner told a similar story, adding that he took the dog to the back yard and gathered napkins for his neighbor.

When police got to the scene, the victim said that he did not need an ambulance, but would be going to a health clinic afterward. He also mentioned that there was a previous attack by the same dog on his pet.

Police examined the man's hand and found the puncture wound. Then, animal control was notified of the animal attack.

Each person was provided with a case number to refer to in regards to the animal attack.

Gwinnett County Animal Control Rules

What is defined as vicious dogs in Gwinnett County?

A vicious dog is generally defined as any dog that attacks a human without provocation. This does not include dogs trained for law enforcement, or animals re-acting to a person who was trespassing, or tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal.

What are the penalties for breaking the county's animal control ordinance?

Those found guilty of violating the ordinance may be subject to a $1,000 fine and/or a county jail term of six months.

What are the laws for restraining animals?

It is unlawful to fail to keep the dog under restraint or control. A dog is considered not under restraint or control when it is running at large, whether wearing a collar and tag or not.

Although "reasonable care" and precautions must be taken to prevent the dog from leaving its owners' property, it is illegal to restrain or anchor an animal with a tether, chain, cable, rope or cord, unless the tether or restraint is being held by a "competent person."

What that really means: You cannot keep your dog tied up in the backyard. And, it's probably not the best idea to let your youngest children walk your pet either.

One more tidbit: Owners with dogs deemed vicious must keep them inside a second fence that is within a perimeter yard fence, if the dog is kept outside. And, within that second fence, the dog is supposed to be kept in a kennel.

Is your dog considered a public nuisance?

These dogs are those: repeatedly found at-large; damage property of anyone other than the owner; is vicious, attacks without provocation; barks, whines, etc., for more than 15 minutes without interruption or more than 30 minutes if the barking is intermittent. This does not apply if the dog is alerting to an intruder. To be cited for this, all that has to happen is for someone to complain.

For more Gwinnett County animal rules, click here. For frequently asked questions, click here.

Who do you call for help?

If you suspect a vicious animal in your neighborhood, an animal that is unrestrained, or a public nuisance, contact Gwinnett County Animal Control at 770-339-3200 (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.).

If you or your animal is attacked, you may also call 911.

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