Am I legally responsible for dog park attack?

////Am I legally responsible for dog park attack?


I was at a local dog park with my large breed dog when she first started playing with and then attacked another dog. She has never acted like that before and I believe it was due to the fact that it was a small breed dog that nipped at her which caused reaction. I was on the correct side with the large dogs and they had their small dog that side when there's a designated small breed play area. We have been to the dog park numerous times and she plays very well with other large breed dogs. At home our neighbor has 2 small breed dogs that growl and provoke her through our privacy fence, so I don't know if that is anything to do with why she reacted that way. Being that it was a dog park and that they were in the wrong pet size designated area do I have anything to worry about legally?


I cannot say whether or not a dog’s “parent” will sue another dog’s “parent” and/or contact animal control when a biting incident occurs. It is important to remember that just because a person sues does not mean the case has merit. Similarly, just because a person contacts animal control does not mean animal control will take any action. A dog’s “parent” will typically not be held liable in Kansas when their dog bites unless the dog had a history of being dangerous and the dog’s “parent” knew about it or the person in charge of the dog who caused the injury was negligent in the handling of the dog and such negligence resulted in harm. It can also be argued that people assume the risk that their dog may get into a scuffle when they take their dog to a dog park, with possible exceptions, such as if the offending dog has already been declared dangerous. And more importantly with respect to dog parks, when rules are broken (such as a small dog entering a large dog area and then getting injured), it will likely be very difficult for the injured dog’s “parent” to get compensated for the harm caused. For example, Wichita, KS has a law which states: “No small dogs (under 25 pounds) will be allowed in the large dog areas of the dog parks. Such areas will be clearly marked.” Other localities in Kansas also have laws relating to dog parks and dog bites. Animal control may be contacted when there is a dog bite but it is unlikely that animal control will get involved when a dog bites another dog in a dog park. People who are sued for money should check their homeowner’s insurance policy. Many of these policies cover dog bites. If there is no coverage, an attorney should be retained if sued. If animal control gets involved, people should also consider retaining an attorney. To avoid litigation or ongoing disputes, some "parents" of the biting dog will pay all or some of an injured dog’s veterinary expenses even if they are not necessarily legally obligated to do so. A release should be signed to make it clear that payment releases the dog’s “parent” from any further liability arising out of the incident.

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By |2023-01-09T17:32:33-04:00November 30th, 2022|