State officials warn of illegal keeping of dangerous dogs

Based on recent severe dog bite incidents with dangerous dogs in other German states, the Directorate of Public Control and Public Services (Aufsichts– und Dienstleistungsdirektion ADD) warns people not to buy a dog such as an American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier or a mixed breed descendant from one of those without the appropriate permission.

According to the state law for dangerous dogs, the keeping of a dangerous dog requires a special permission from the office of public order (Ordnungsamt), and is only possible in exceptional cases when obeying strict regulations. Local offices of public order must react to violations and secure the dog if needed.

A permission to keep a dangerous dog can only be granted if there is a valid interest in keeping such a breed and if a special knowledge will be proven and strict regulations be obeyed. Therefore so far it was possible to avoid similar bite incidents with these breeds in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz.

Ever since the state law on dangerous dogs, which prohibits these dangerous breeds,  has come into effect, numbers are declining. In 2001, there still were 4,018 dogs of these breeds, whereas in 2010 only 1,606 dogs are registered. Unfortunately the Directorate for Public Control and Public Services has noted within the last few months that the number of illegally kept dogs in Rheinland-Pfalz has gone up — especially due to imports from Eastern Europe. The predominant breeding conditions over there cause diseases, and in the later development of the animals, signs of aggressiveness are not uncommon.

ADD officials point out the dangerousness and unpredictability of these dog breeds, and ask people, for their own protection and the protection of their families, to make sure when they buy such a dog that it is not a descendant of these breeds or a mix with parts of these breeds. Besides fines and a criminal prosecution, owners of such dogs who have no permission have to expect the securing of their illegally kept dogs and their placement in an animal shelter.

For more information contact your local office of public order.

(Courtesy of Directorate of Public Control and Public Services Rheinland-Pfalz)