Article written by Barry K Rothman.
States will also consider other parties like animal keepers such as a kennel, pound or animal sitter; property owners, if they have allowed the animal into their property and landlords if they were aware that the tenant owned an unsafe animal. Parents will be charged if their minors are injured due to a pet they own.
States usually have strict laws on animal owners and will charge a pet owner if their pet bites or injures a person even if the owner does not show negligence or fault. Even if the incident was a rare occurrence and the pet had never shown vicious tendencies before, the owner will still be held liable.
The only defense the animal owner will have is that the animal reacted to a provocation by the victim, provoking the animal to bite. Law enforcement agencies that use dogs, however, will be exempt from liability.
Other states will look at the knowledge of the animal’s dangerous behavior by the pet owner. In these states, the victim will have to show that the owner had knowledge of the pet’s vicious behavior. But if the pet owner warned others about the pet’s dangerous behavior and took measures to prevent others from harm, there may be no liability.