Any person who is injured by another person’s dog is entitled to recover damages from the dog’s owner, keeper, or possessor, unless the injury occurred when the injured person was trespassing or committing some other tort. This statute imposes strict liability and does not require proof of negligence. A parent or guardian is liable for damages if the dog’s owner or keeper is a minor. Additionally, the statute makes a dog owner strictly liable for harm caused by a dog's "vicious or mischievous acts," even if it is not a bite. It can be anything which causes injury, such as frightening the victim and making him "flip" his bicycle.
If a dog is declared to be a menace, a nuisance, or vicious, and the owner fails to abate, or stop, the behavior, or when the owner fails to comply with any local dog laws, the dog can be taken into custody and, depending on the violation, the owner is subject to a fine ranging from $25 to $400.
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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.