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The Importance of a NY Dog License in Personal Injury Cases

In the US, dogs are by far the most common pet.

There are roughly 600,000 pet dogs in New York City. Since they are loving, devoted, and excellent companions, dogs are popular with most people. Given the sheer number of dogs, it’s likely that there will be some incidents of dog bites.

In New York, all dog owners (with a few exceptions) must license their dogs.If an unlicensed dog bites someone, the owner may incur more severe penalties compared to a licensed dog.

Furthermore, accessing pertinent information regarding the dog, like vaccination records or documented past incidents, becomes simpler with a license.

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Do I Need a License for a Dog in NYC?Greenberg & Stein P.C. | Contact Us To Get Help

Why Do I Need a License for a Dog in NYC?

Getting a license for your dog not only has several benefits but it is required by the law.

According to New York state laws and regulations, all dogs that are 4 months or older need to be licensed. Dog owners must ensure that their dogs have their licenses attached to their collars when they are in public areas like parks.

If you are caught with an unlicensed dog in a public area you may face a fine of $200. 

The likelihood that you will locate your dog if they become lost is one of the main advantages of acquiring a license for your dog. Dog owner information is linked to dog licenses. As a result, if your dog escapes and is caught, someone will be able to get in touch with you so you may retrieve it.

The linkage between dog licenses and their vaccination records constitutes a highly significant advantage. It facilitates ascertaining whether a dog has received all necessary vaccinations. Checking to see if the dog has had a rabies vaccination is one of the most crucial things to do after a dog bites someone. It is quite simple and quick to examine that information thanks to licensing.

Which Dogs Require Licensing?

In New York, dogs must obtain a license by the time they reach four months of age, excluding service dogs.

Even guard dogs must undergo licensing, albeit with potentially differing fees.

Licensing occurs annually and necessitates proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination. Some cities or municipalities may have additional licensing requirements, so it is always a good idea to check with your local government to see if there are any additional rules or regulations that apply to your specific area.


For neutered or spayed dogs, the fee is $8.00, whereas for non-neutered/spayed dogs, the fee is $34.50 in New York City.

You can license a dog by attending a dog licensing event organized by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. You can find more information about these events on their website

Liability in a Dog Bite Injury Case

In New York, dog owners may face liability for damages beyond medical expenses caused by their dogs under specific circumstances.

Specifically, New York uses a combination of the “one-bite” rule and “strict liability”. This means that when a dog bites someone, the owner is automatically held liable for any losses related to medical expenditures.

If the dog showed signs of aggression or had bitten someone before, it could face liability for a range of damages, including lost wages, property damage, and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.

It is worth noting that there are some exceptions to these rules. For example, a person who is trespassing on private property may not be able to hold the dog owner liable for injuries caused by the dog.

Yet, a dog showing aggression or a history of biting can be accountable for damages extending beyond medical costs, including lost wages and property damage, along with non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

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How a NYC Dog License Can Impact Liability in a Dog Bite Injury Case

Not having a license for your dog could lead to a perception that you are an irresponsible owner. This may increase the liability you face if your dog bites someone, as it suggests that you have not taken the necessary precautions to ensure your dog is well-trained, socialized, and vaccinated. 

Conversely, a crucial detail associated with a dog’s license is its incident record. This entails that all previous biting incidents have been documented.

If a licensed dog bites someone for the first time, the dog owner can prove that it has never happened before. It can be greatly beneficial for the dog owner to be able to demonstrate that the dog has never been aggressive because this would release them from liability for any damages beyond medical costs.

The Importance of Working With an Experienced Dog Bite Injury Attorney

An experienced dog bite attorney will have handled many similar cases and will be familiar with the legal issues that are specific to dog bite cases. They will be able to assess the strength of your case and determine the best course of action.

Additionally, a dog bite injury attorney will have strong negotiation skills and will be able to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case 

Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a prestigious law firm located in New York. Here you can find attorneys with vast experience and extremely knowledgeable of New York laws.

Our legal team has assisted numerous individuals involved in dog bite incidents. Do not hesitate to contact us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.