The Dog Owners’ Liability Act is a law which describes the liability of owners of dogs. This particular act is enforceable in every province in Canada, including the state of Ontario and as a result in the city of Kingston, as it is located in said state. This Act subjects dog owners to liability for any possible damage which is caused by their dogs. Interestingly enough, the damage could be caused to people and other domestic animals. Even though it may sound like something that is not happening a lot, the reality is that every year in Canada, more than 500,000 claims are filed under this particular act which makes it one of the most common cases in the area of personal injury law.
A lot of precautions are described in this act which needs to be taken into proper consideration by the owner of the dog in order to ensure the safety of other people or other domestic animals. If it involves an aggressive dog breed like a Pitbull, injuries can be massive.
For instance, every owner of a dog which is considered vicious has to make sure that in his absence the dog is overseen by a person over the age of 16. Moreover, the dog needs to be held on a leash and the particular leash should not exceed two meters. The dog should also be muzzled. Now, even if all of these requirements are met and the dog still attacks and bites another person, the liability won’t be reduced as obviously they weren’t taken into proper account. This is the interesting part about this particular act. Even if all the precautions are taken and the accident still happens, this won’t have an effect on the ruling of the court. This solution is fair because it provides enough protection for the victim of such mishaps.
However, there are certain things that would put the responsibility of the owner in certain limits. The most important one of them and the one that deserves the most attention is called contributory negligence. This is an institute which is known in other particular areas of personal injury. This is a specific behavior on behalf of the injured party which encouraged the happening of the accident. In other words, the victim contributed to the attack by doing something that encouraged the dog to attack. This might include improper behavior or intentional irritation of the animal. In any case, every single situation would be strongly individual and the court must discretionally assess the actual situation. This is why there are no estimates of the possible damages that could be claimed because they would depend on strictly subjective factors like the ferocity of the attack and the nature of the damages themselves. It is also important to note that attacks of this kind almost certainly will cause severe emotional traumas.