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Who's to blame?


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  #1  
July 15th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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If your pet is attacked and injured or killed by another person's dog, who do you think should be held responsible, the dog, the owner or both?
What if the attack occurs while the owner is out walking their dog on a leash?
What if the dog is with its owner, but not leashed?
What if the dog is running loose, unattended?

I ask because I saw a family on the news that is trying to get a law passed in our state that allows for charges to be pressed against the owner of a dog if their dog causes harm to another person's pet. Do you agree with this potential law?
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  #2  
July 15th, 2010, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barlea View Post
If your pet is attacked and injured or killed by another person's dog, who do you think should be held responsible, the dog, the owner or both?
What if the attack occurs while the owner is out walking their dog on a leash?
What if the dog is with its owner, but not leashed?
What if the dog is running loose, unattended?

I ask because I saw a family on the news that is trying to get a law passed in our state that allows for charges to be pressed against the owner of a dog if their dog causes harm to another person's pet. Do you agree with this potential law?
Honestly, I think like most laws it really can't be black and white but there are TONS of gray areas. Does the dog have a history of biting? Was it supposed to be muzzled (per the county due to previous bites) and wasn't, was the owner acting irresponsibly, the list goes on and on.

I think if you have a bunch of dogs at a dog park, none have past issues or bite instances on file with the county then that's a risk you take taking your dog to the dog park. Now if your dog is in your enclosed yard and your neighbor's dog jumps the fence and attacks your dog on your property then yeah I think the dog owner should be held responsible.

Too may shades of gray for me to say a blanket yes or no on if i agree or not.


If your pet is attacked and injured or killed by another person's dog, who do you think should be held responsible, the dog, the owner or both? I think this just depends on the circumstances involved. In general I would say both but I think each case could be a different answer.

What if the attack occurs while the owner is out walking their dog on a leash? Well honestly if both dogs are on a leash then this really shouldn't happen in the first place. If it does I'd be inclined to say the owner as they would have the ability to pull back on the leash and walk away...but again each case could be different.

What if the dog is with its owner, but not leashed? In this case they are breaking the law in most areas so the owner should be responsible.

What if the dog is running loose, unattended? Absolutely the owner. It's your job as a pet owner to keep your pets safe, confined, etc if you cannot do that then you shouldn't take on the responsibility.
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  #3  
July 16th, 2010, 01:20 AM
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IMO:

The owner of the bitten/killed dog is responsible if:
-The bitten dog comes uninvited onto the attackers property
-The bitten dog is not on a leash and runs up to a dog that is on a leash
-If the owner of the aggressor tells you that their dog is aggressive and you still allow your dog to go up to that dog

The owner of the 'attacker' is responsible when:
-Their dog gets loose and attacks another dog
-Their dog is not restrained properly on a leash
-They invite a dog onto their property (yard or house) and their dog attacks it

If they are both on a leash:
...and both owners allow their dogs to come nose to nose and one gets bitten, then I say it is the fault of the owner who's dog bit (for this reason, I NEVER allow my dog to 'greet' strange dogs while on the leash. Lots of people do, and I always pull mine away.)

Public places like a dedicated dog park where they can run free or a doggy day care:
This is the gray area. I think if the dog has had a history of aggressiveness and the owner still lets it run free with others, then its their fault. If the dog never has been aggressive, then I have no idea.
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  #4  
July 16th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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There are always gray areas and exceptions, but I think the majority of the time, the owner is to blame for their dog's behavior (good or bad) and should be held responsible. If someone has a dog that is aggressive, the owner needs to acknowledge and be aware of the issue and avoid situations that would trigger the aggressive behavior, such as walking the dog earlier or later in the day to avoid encounters with other pets. I also agree that no one should allow their dog to greet a strange dog nose to nose, whether it has a history of aggression or not. A woman on my block does this with her Corgi. She has one of those retractable leashes and has let it run up on my dogs before, it annoys the crap out of me!
If a dog "escapes" then it is definitely the owners fault, because part of owning a dog is providing a secure, safe place for it to live.
I also think charges should be pressed against the owner if their dog cause severe injury or death. Taking the dog away from the person doesn't really teach them anything and I think the owner would be sad they lost their dog, but then they have the opportunity to go out and get another dog and possibly repeat the cycle. If they person has to pay high fines or even serve jail time, I believe most would be more careful with their next dog. I definitely do NOT think the dog should be euthinized, unless it is fails aggression tests given by a professional is deemed unsafe.
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  #5  
July 16th, 2010, 05:57 PM
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Once a dog has bitten their likely hood of doing it again is higher from what I have learned.
If the owner doesn't have control of their dog and it goes after another animal or person then the owner is to blame. You should know how your dog is in public and work to ensure the safety of those being exposed to your animal.
I am an advocate for training your dog to be a good citizen and not just letting them do what they want.
I know there are some laws in place for these types incidents in my area. I think every area is different.
I also am not a fan of creating laws against breeds. I believe it should be dog specific, any dog can be a good dog with proper training and work.
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  #6  
July 20th, 2010, 10:33 PM
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I've seen a lot of lawsuits go no-where unfortunately due to laws that don't exist...
Some of our counties have leash laws (if you are in public with your pet, you must have him leashed) while others do not. If you are in a county with a leash law, and your dog is hit by car while on leash (which is extremely rare I might add) or your dog is attacked by another on leash, you have a case. If your dog is at a park leash free, running the neighborhood, etc, and it gets hurt, the state believes you are responsible to come up with a resolution between the owner and yourself.
Personally, I have see SO many dog fights occur because people let their dogs greet other dogs who are showing obvious aggression signs (be it fear based or otherwise) and are bitten and attacked. I don't think it's appropriate to have your dog off leash where other dogs are interacting unless you know the dogs because unfortunately all it takes is ONE self conscious dog to make the wrong move and thus the chaos begins.
I was at a park for my babyshower with both of my dogs on leash (short leashes, and they were both lying under my chair relaxing in the grass) and a min pin came CHARGING up, mouth open to my older pom. He immediately stood and didn't know what to do, and I reached in between the two (wrong move, to be honest) and shoved the little dog away from my dog. This dog was excitable aggressive and wasn't exactly seeking a fight, but my dog is essentially minding his own business on a leash, and gets a face full of barking, growling and excitable dog. Not okay. These owners were bothered that I literally shoved their dog off my dog, who thankfully was not bitten in the process. I gave them an ear full about their dog's behavior and how they would be at fault if a fight had ensued. My dog was leashed, theirs was not... I normally do not get all soapboxy about things, but I can't count how many deaths, lacerations, surgeries, abscesses, etc I have seen at work due to owners who just let their dogs run free and get into fights.
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