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Animal/ Dog Bites

Animal-Dog BitesThe behavior of animals cannot be predicted to a 100% certainty; Although, Ontario laws require owners of animals to be in full control of their pets so as to protect the public from animal attacks and ensure the safety of the public, experience has shown that pet owners are not always in compliance with the law. The law states that when a dog bites or attacks a person or another pet, the dog’s owner is liable for any damages that may result from the accident. If the dog has more than one owner, then both or all the owners are equally liable for the damages. The damages awarded can depend on the degree of the attack and the contributory negligence of the owner in failing to restrain the dog’s actions. For example, if the owner failed to hold back their dog or ignored their dog’s aggressive behavior, then damages will be in favor of the plaintiff based on the grounds of negligence of the owner. If the victim in some ways provoked the dog to its aggressive state or voluntarily solicited the dog for a play, then the damages may be reduced significantly because the victim was negligent in terms of reasonable care.

If a third party was responsible for the dog’s actions like a dog walker or sitter then the owner is still liable to pay the damages, but he can then require the third person to pay for part of the damages

(Dog Owners’ Liability Act (R.S.O. 1990, Chapter D.16)