Dealing with Dogs that Might be Dangerous

Dogs that are usually calm and friendly may become dangerous if they feel threatened or afraid. It is important to know how to safely approach a dog--when the owner is present and after asking if it is alright to pet the dog.

Children should be taught not to approach dogs without asking permission, and certainly not to approach a dog that is stray or off-leash. The ASPCA provides numerous tips to prevent dog bites.

* Learn more about dog behavior from the ASPCA

The City Health Code 161.07 states the Commissioner may order any action deemed necessary to control a dangerous dog and prevent injuries to persons, including, but not limited to, ordering that a dangerous dog be:

  1. Surrendered for the purpose of humane euthanasia;
  2. Permanently removed from New York City;
  3. Muzzled whenever it is in a public place;
  4. Evaluated, at the owners’ expense, by an animal behaviorist to determine whether the animal is trainable;
  5. Spayed or neutered, if the owner does not maintain proof that the animal was previously altered;
  6. Microchipped to enable identification of the dog if it inflicts further injury; or 
  7. Confined in a place where there are sufficient barriers between the dog and passersby.

Last Updated: August 20, 2012