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Are Arizona dog owners liable for actions by an aggressive dog?

It is not uncommon for residents in Arizona and elsewhere to own a pet. In fact, some individuals might own several pets of various species. Frequently, pet owners will opt to get a cat or dog for long time companionship. However, pet ownership comes with much responsibility. And when it comes to dog owners, there is not only the duty to confine the dog safely at their property but also to prevent any harm to others the dog comes in contact with.

Are Arizona dog owners liable for actions by an aggressive dog? While some dogs may never exhibit aggressive behaviors unless they are provoked, if a dog owner knowingly owns or cares for an aggressive dog, then he or she has certain responsibilities.

According to article 11 section 1014.01 of Arizona State Statutes, an individual who owns or is responsible for the care of an aggressive dog must take steps to prevent the dog from escaping outside of their residence, enclosed area, yard or structure. Additionally, the individual must control the dog in such a manner that it will prevent the dog from biting or attacking another person or a domestic animal.

If a dog owner fails to take reasonable care to maintain control of the dog and prevent an aggressive dog from biting another person, this could be a violation of this statute. Additionally, if the dog was not provoked and attacks another person, causing serious injuries, this could also be a violation of this statute.

In addition to facing penalties for violating this statute, a dog owner could face liability for the injuries and damages caused by dog bites. A personal injury claim could help them recover compensation for their injuries, helping them cover expenses such as medical bills, emotional pain, lost wages and damages.

Source: Azleg.gov, "11-1014.01. Aggressive dogs; reasonable care requirements; violation; classification; definitions," accessed June 27, 2016

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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