Before suffering the effects of a vicious dog bite, read on to learn about dog attack liability, dog rights, and the legal consequences of canine aggression.

Can dogs be held accountable for their aggressive actions?



Sad dog in cageWe’ve all seen the viral photos of dogs being shamed for the silly things their owners caught them doing. However, despite the entertainment value of these photos, the question of whether dogs should be held accountable for their actions is a controversial topic—especially when those actions turn out to be violent.

Animal Rights and Liability

There are dozens of animal rights groups, from the Human Society of the United States to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who work diligently to secure basic rights for animals, including dogs. December 10, 2016, has even been dedicated as the International Animal Rights Day, sharing the spotlight with Human Rights Day. However, fighting for animal rights causes controversy when it comes to holding animals responsible for their own actions. Human owners are expected to keep their dogs under control and, therefore, when a dog becomes aggressive or attacks a human, his owner will be responsible for compensating any damages that may develop. This does not mean the animal will not be punished as well, however. When the canine’s aggressive behavior results in his victim suffering permanent disability, fatal injuries, or recurring wounds, the dog could wind up paying the ultimate price.

Depending on the circumstances and severity of an attack, a dog may be subject to the following penalties:

  • Restraints. When a dog has been reported to be aggressive in public, a court can mandate that he be restrained, either with a muzzle, harness, or other system, when in public to prevent further incidents.
  • Banishment. Aggressive dogs and dog breeds have been banned from public places to avoid recurrence of aggressive behavior.
  • Death. When a dog is determined to be dangerously aggressive, the dog may be seized and put to death.

Additional Resources and Injury Claim Advice

For more information on how to recognize and stay safe around aggressive canines, feel free to browse our collection of library, blog, and FAQ articles. If you’ve already suffered the consequences of an aggressive dog bite and need information about your rights, contact us directly. You can do so online by clicking the chat feature, by phone by dialing 1.800.636.3676 to schedule a complimentary review, or by filling out the convenient contact form located on this page.