Tipper's Tips   Legal IssuesResponsible Dog Ownership

Tipper’s Tips:

Legal Issues


Responsible Dog Ownership

*Have home owners INSURANCE or rental insurance that covers your dog and make sure it provides protection in case of canine inflicted injuries.  In Maine, owners are liable for their dogs.  Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy or renters’ insurance covers the dog breed you are thinking about getting.  Insurance companies may deny homeowners and renters insurance coverage to people who own certain breeds of dogs.  Considerations that influence a company's willingness to cover a breed include the frequency of dog bites for the breed, the breed's reputation as well as research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.         

















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Did you know…


Insurance companies consider these

the 11 riskiest dog breeds

(or any mix of these breeds):


             1. Pitbulls & Staffordshire Terriers

             2. Dobermans

             3. Rottweilers

             4. German Shepherd Dogs

             5. Chow Chows

             6. Great Danes

             7. Presa Canarios

             8. Akitas

             9. Alaskan Malamutes

             10. Siberian Huskies

             11. Wolf Hybrids






Experts say insurance companies tend to deny coverage most often for the first four breeds on this list above.  You might have to shop around for coverage.  Many companies will cover these dog breeds but at a price…that’s right, you’ll pay a higher premium than your neighbor with the golden retriever.  This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get one of the dogs on the list, each one of these breeds given the right home environment, the right training and socializing can make fantastic family pets. But, do your homework.  Studies have shown that in general, smaller dogs bite more often than big dogs but are less likely to be reported due to the relatively small size of the wound inflicted.  According to American Veterinary Medical Association in their article titled “Dog Bite Risk and Prevention”: “Based on behavioral assessments and owner surveys the breeds that were more aggressive towards people were small to medium-sized dogs such as the collies, toy breeds and spaniels.  A survey identified collies, Lhasa apso, Springer spaniels and shih tsu as more likely to bite.”


*SPAY/NEUTER YOUR DOG.  According to PetPlace.com 70% of all dog attacks involve unneutered males.  Just another responsible reason to SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS!!!! See ASPCA Top 10 Reasons to spay/neuter your pet


*COST.  Adequately caring for a dog can be costly.   Immunizations, rabies shots every 2-3 years, yearly dog license fees, annual vet check ups, the cost of spaying/neutering and obedience training classes, food (which they need daily~an 85 lb dog requires a lot of food!) and of course toys! Not to mention those unexpected vet bills when your dog eats your car starter or the entire bowl of Halloween candy, cuts its paw wide open on the ice, gets into a tussle with a porcupine in the back yard (and lost), has allergies or an autoimmune disorder that requires special meds and special diet or develops a disorder or disease that needs treatment.  While you might get a puppy as a gift or get a puppy for “free” or reduced cost from a shelter, the healthy maintenance of that dog as it grows into adulthood and beyond requires a significant financial investment. 

Did you know…


According to petfinder.com it costs yearly an average of $1100 to care for a large breed dog and $580 for a small breed dog (neither amount includes grooming).

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*In Maine, state law requires all dogs over 6 months be LICENSED.  In Bangor, dog licenses can be obtained at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall.  Dog licenses expire on December 31st of each year. Additional late fees are imposed after January 31st of each year. The cost for a spayed/neutered dog is $6.00 and $11.00 for a dog that is not spayed/neutered.  To receive a license, dog owners must show a State of Maine rabies certificate, a spay or neuter certificate, and provide your dog’s veterinarian’s name and phone number.  Dog license renewals can be done online through the City of Bangor’s Dog License page


*Know the LEASH LAWS.  Your dog should wear a collar with identification tags whenever outside your home.  Make sure the length of the leash allows you to have control of your dog at all times.  More than 6 feet or flexi leashes do not provide adequate control.

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Did you know…


Dogs should always wear a collar with pet tags (name, your phone and/or address) including the license tag and rabies tag.  These identifications will assist law enforcement or good Samaritans in returning your pet to you should he/she get lost.

*If you live in an apartment and dogs are allowed, check with your landlord regarding any “breed” restrictions.  Do this before you get the puppy or dog and fall in love.


*Most cities have ordinances for PET WASTE DISPOSAL.  In Bangor, dog owners must scoop their dog’s poop in all public parks.  Handicap persons (by reason of his/her handicap) are exempt from this ordinance. 

Did you know...


Some cities like Seattle

have a law that requires

picking up dog or cat feces

on your own property

at least every 24 hours!

Oval Callout:

*BEWARE OF DOG SIGN:  Many lawyers will say having a “Beware of Dog” sign on your property can be used in court that you acknowledge that your dog is potentially dangerous.  The way the court looks at it is, posting a "beware of dog" sign is an admission by the dog owner that their dog is prone to attack an intruder, even if the dog has, or would never do that.  You are in essence, telling the public your dog is dangerous.  On the other hand, if you don’t have a sign, you can be held liable for not providing a warning that there is a dog on the property.  The best solution: put up a “Dog on Premises” or “Dog on Propertysign

Rounded Rectangular Callout: While these signs might be humorous, it is recommended NOT to post them on your property!
Rounded Rectangular Callout: Did you know…

Bangor City Code limits the number of dogs 
to be kept at any one residence to 3 
(more than six months of age).