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I have a Pitbull when working in the front yard my dog roams free with me is it a crime?Even if the dog has not done anything?

San Diego, CA |

I currently have an American Pit-bull who is super friendly to kids and other dogs. All his life he's been around toddlers and frequently encountering new dogs in dog parks, trails to friends dogs. However because of the discrimination to the pit-bull breed I have those complaints. I understand if its the law its the law and should be as followed. Its just unfortunate for a dog to be discriminated or judged due to its breed. While either walking down the streets people turning around or insulting comments while the dog has not even done anything to show a form of aggression.

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Attorney answers 2


Generally speaking, if a dog is in its own yard and under the control of its owner, then it does not have to be leashed or fenced, so no, it is not a crime. If you live in a community with a homeowners' association its rules may be more stringent. No matter the breed and no matter how friendly you should NEVER allow your dog to approach a person or another dog (unless at a dog park) that it does not know off leash. It is simply asking for trouble.

It may be helpful if you had your dog certified as a therapy dog and/or as a canine good citizen. Then if people make comments you can say, politely and truthfully: "Buster is certified as a therapy dog and/or canine good citizen."

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.


I agree that it is most unfortunate that dogs are often discriminated against based on looks, personality or what have you, and that judgments (often wrong) are made about what breed the particular animal belongs to or doesn't. Its discrimination, plain and simple. That being said, however, don't invite trouble by having your dog off-leash in your front yard if it is unfenced or the dog is otherwise not contained. A dog could approach him in a threatening manner, and you may not have enough time to react to it and protect your dog and/or yourself from injury or even possibly death. So be a good neighbor and help your dog be a good canine citizen by following the visible standards of good etiquette when in the public eye or in public access: leash first, ask questions later. Best of luck!

This post should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.<br /> <a href="" target="_blank">Joan M. Bundy, Attorney at Law, Chandler, Arizona</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;

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