Connecticut Dog Law

Liability Statute

Under Connecticut's Dog Bite Statute, a dog's owner or keeper at the time of the injury is liable for damages if the injured person proves:

  • that the injury was caused by the dog;
  • that at the time of the injury, the plaintiff was not committing a trespass or other tort, or was not teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog; and
  • that the defendant is the owner or was the keeper of the dog.

Under this statute, if a person was under seven years old at the time of the injury, the law automatically presumes that the child was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog. In that case, the burden of proof is on the defendant.

Under Connecticut's Dog Bite Statute, persons injured by dogs can recover economic damages, as well as pain and suffering damages.

Dangerous Dog Statute

Connecticut does not have a Dangerous Dog Statute.

A panel determines whether a dog is dangerous. The Panel may declare a dog to be dangerous if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the dog:

  • killed or inflicted physical injury or serious physical injury upon a human being;
  • killed or inflicted serious physical injury upon a domestic animal, provided the domestic animal was on the property of its owner or under the immediate control of its owner; or
  • was subject to, or was used to facilitate animal cruelty or animal fighting as alleged in a criminal complaint or charge.

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