Harboring a Dangerous Dog Pennsylvania

In Commonwealth v. Austin, 846 A.2d 798 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004) a dog bit the owner's neighbor without provocation. Even though the issue of culpability requirements was not expressly addressed, the Court held that a conviction for the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog under Section 502-A of the Dog Law, Act of December 7, 1982, P.L. 784, as amended, added by Section 2 of the Act of May 31, 1990, P.L. 46, 3 P.S. 459-502-A, required proof of the elements specified in the statute: that the dog did a designated act, including attacking without provocation; that it had either a history of such conduct or a propensity, which could be proved by a single incident; and that the defendant was the owner or keeper. No further proof of culpability was required. Thus the trial court correctly concluded that Section 2307(a) of the Game Law imposes absolute liability in regard to the summary offense of possessing an illegally taken deer.