Dog’s life saved at Dangerous Dog determination hearing
This morning, Mr. Hammond attended a Dangerous Dog determination hearing conducted by the City of Los Angeles. After the dog allegedly attacked a mail carrier and a child on a bicycle when a gate was left open, the dog was confiscated and the City set a hearing to determine if he is a dangerous dog, whether his dog license should be revoked, and whether he should be destroyed. Mr. Hammond was prepared with four witnesses to discuss the facts of the subject incident, the general temperament and history of the dog, and steps that will be taken to avoid problems in the future. However, before the Dangerous Dog hearing even began, Mr. Hammond asked the prosecuting officer if she was interested in discussing a stipulation in the case.
Advantages of a stipulation
A stipulation in a Dangerous Dog case cannot be used as evidence in a civil case against the dog owners. Also, a stipulation results in a conditional license being issued, which spares the dog’s life and allows the owner to keep the dog within city limits under certain conditions to which both the owner and the city agree. Additionally, it keeps the victims from having to go through the stress of testifying and undergoing cross-examination.
In this case, the dog’s prior registered owner did not show up at the hearing, but a former roommate who knew the dog well and wanted to take custody hired Mr. Hammond to attend the hearing and try to save the dog’s life. We were able to negotiate a stipulation whereby the dog gets to live, and our client will get to take custody of the dog with the condition that he provide training and supervision to avoid future problems. That’s the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
In addition to determining the fate of the dog, a Dangerous Dog determination hearing can have consequences for the people involved, in future criminal and civil proceedings. It is important to consult qualified counsel to fully understand the implications of the hearing. If you and your dog are the subject of a Dangerous Dog determination hearing, contact the Law Office of Donald R. Hammond to discuss your options.