In my neighborhood, there is a dog that has managed to escape from its front lawn on multiple occasions. During the day the owner keeps the dog on a leash tied to a pole in the front yard. The front yard is not fenced in. When the dog sees someone, another dog or a small animal like a squirrel, it will run toward them. Every time it lunges, the leash gets loose a little bit and/or the pole gets pulled out a little bit, eventually allowing the dog to get free.
I have seen the dog try to lunge/bite a passerby who tries to help the dog go back to its home. I have also personally tried to help the dog, but it also lunged at me, showing me its teeth in an aggressive way.
A Dog Attack Case Result: $1,000,000 settlement after dog attacks owner
The dog owner is exposing himself to potential liability if his dog attacks, bites and injures someone. Under Pennsylvania dog law, the injured victim will most likely win.
There is a "leash" law in Pennsylvania which requires dog owners to keep their dogs under reasonable control. The dogs do not necessarily have to be on leashes, but must be under control. Therefore, if dog owners allow their dogs to be unattended outside their homes, such as in their backyards or front yards, the dogs must be confined to the properties and not running at large in public.
The dog owner in this situation would be liable for any injuries/attacks his dog caused because he did not keep his dog confined to his property. For example, let's say the dog attacked and injured a child in the neighborhood after it escaped from its front yard; the owner is going to be held liable for the child's injuries.
Not only was the dog not properly confined to the front yard, the owner knew that the dog had escaped before. The dog owner’s prior knowledge that the dog could escape from the front lawn would be proved by the fact that on prior occasions, neighbors returned the dog after it had escaped. Knowing that the dog can get loose, the owner could have kept a closer watch on the dog when outdoors, or could have put the dog in the backyard where there is a fence/gate that could keep the dog on the property.
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If you were injured or bitten by a dog in Pennsylvania, you have legal rights. The dog owner may be responsible for your injuries. Call Daniel J. O'Brien, a partner at White and Williams, who has helped many dog attack victims in PA and NJ to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396
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