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Animal Control Law

Brief - Criminal Liability for a Bad Dog - State v. Bash, 925 P.2d 978, 130 Wash.2d 594 (Wash. 1996)

Respondents Lawrence E. Delzer and Edward D. Bash were charged by information with violating RCW 16.08.100(3), which provides that the owner of a dog which aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of a human being is guilty of a class C felony. The trial court concluded that the statute sets forth a strict liability offense but that a defendant may assert as an affirmative defense that he or she neither knew nor should have known that the dog was a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog. We granted discretionary review and reverse, holding that the statute does not define a strict liability crime, but instead requires that the dog's owner either knew or should have known that the dog was a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog.

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