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Responsibility for Damages When a Dog Bites Another Dog

Many dog breeds are territorial and will act aggressively to other dogs who they perceive as a threat to their dominance. To protect dogs, cats, and their owners, Boulder has some of the strictest dog laws in Colorado. Even so, dog fights and dog bites occur regularly. When a dog bites another dog, cat, etc., their owner can be held liable for damages.

Leash Laws in Boulder and Surrounding Areas

Many public areas, parks, and trails allow pet owners to take their dog for a stroll with them. Some require leashes, while others allow for voice and sight control over the animal. Some require leashes at certain times, while others have no restrictions. While it can be confusing, it does not absolve pet owners from the responsibility of adhering to these regulations.

If an animal owner is in violation of a leash law, and their animal causes a dog bite to another animal that is on a leash, then they would be liable for damages caused by their negligent disregard for the regulation. However, if both dog owners were in violation, then it’s necessary to establish which dog initiated the incident and absent eyewitness testimony or video evidence, this can be very difficult to prove.

Dangerous Dog Breeds

Pit bulls, Canary dogs, Tosa Inus, and many other breeds are banned in cities along the Front Range. These dogs are banned because of their well-established history of aggressive behavior. Dog owners who bring banned animals into areas where they are prohibited are liable for damages caused by their animal’s actions.

Documenting Injuries

Individuals should take photographs of the injury, the scene of the incident, the other dog, etc. These can help establish the circumstances of the incident and the extent of the injuries. Individuals should promptly take their animal to a veterinarian to document the injuries. This evidence should be safely stored alongside receipts for veterinary care and treatment.

Potential for Criminal Penalties

In addition to any civil penalties and damages, individuals who are found to be in violation of leash laws or breed bans can face fines of up to $1,000 per violation, and up to 90 days in jail.

For more information about recovering damages from a dog bite injury to yourself or your animal, contact Sloat, Nicholson, & Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144.

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