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Dog Owners Are Responsible For Controlling Their Dogs To Prevent Dog Attacks & Injuries In PA


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6/2/2014
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I read a news article not so long ago where a Pennsylvania man in Lehigh Valley was attacked by his neighbor’s dog after getting out of his car. Prior to the attack, the man often feared that he and his wife would be attacked by the dog, a Dogo Argentino, which is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting.  *Source: www.lehighvalleylive.com (Freemansburg dog bite victim says Pennsylvania dog laws don't do enough)

Apparently, the dog was often off the leash and had bitten a teen in the neighborhood before.  The man always took precautions to avoid the dog.  On the particular night that he was attacked, the man was getting out of his car when the dog bit him on the right arm and knocked him to the ground.

After the attack, the dog owner was interviewed by the local media, and some of the things he said shocked me.  First, he said that the reason the dog attacks occurred was due to the fact that the dog was still a puppy. 

In addition, on the day of this particular attack, the owner’s teenaged son had let the dog out in the yard, and the dog ran off and bit the man before the son could catch him.  The owner then said that if his kid was outside and took the dog out, he had no control over that.

When I read the owner’s comments, I was shocked and appalled by his statement.  The fact that his dog is a puppy is not an excuse for it to run wild and attack someone.  Further, to say that he had no control over his dog because his son let it out of the yard is not an excuse. 

Pennsylvania requires dog owners to keep their dogs under proper and adequate control.  This is known as Pennsylvania’s “leash law.”  The leash law does not require the dog to be leashed at all times, it requires that the dog be:

  • confined to an owner’s property; or
  • maintained within reasonable control of the owner or another person.

Therefore, the fact that the puppy attacked before and was not kept on a leash while outside violates the leash law because the dog was not within reasonable control of the owner.  Further, the owner cannot shift the blame onto his teenaged son. 

Related PA & NJ Dog Attacks & Injury Legal Articles

Victims of dog attacks do not only sustain physical, permanent injuries, they may also sustain long-term emotional injuries.  Victims may feel anxious when they see a dog that is loose and feel that they may be attacked.  They can recover damages from the dog owner such as:

  • mental anguish,
  • pain and suffering,
  • medical expenses, and/or
  • lost wages.

If you were bitten by a neighbor’s dog and would like to explore your legal rights, call Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq., an experienced PA and NJ dog bite injury lawyer.  Mr. O’Brien has extensive experience in helping dog bite victims and has helped victims recover the maximum financial recovery available. Call Mr. O’Brien at 877.944.8396 to schedule a FREE consultation.



Category: Dog Bite Cases

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