Oklahoma Dog Law

Liability Statute

A dog owner is strictly liable for damages when his or her dog, without provocation, bites or injures any person, so long as the injured person is in a place where he had a lawful right to be when the injury occurred and was not assaulting the owner of the dog.

Dangerous Dog Statute

The Meaning of a “Potentially Dangerous Dog”

A “potentially dangerous dog” is:

  • a dog that, when unprovoked, bites a human; or
  • a dog that, when unprovoked, kills or severely injures a domestic animal.

The Meaning of a “Dangerous Dog”

A “dangerous dog” is:

  • a dog that, when unprovoked, has inflicted severe injury on a human being. A severe injury means any physical injury that results in broken bones or lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.
  • a dog that has been previously found to be potentially dangerous and the dog thereafter aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans; or
  • a dog that has been previously found to be potentially dangerous and the dog thereafter kills or severely injures a domestic animal.

Legal Responsibilities and Liability of Owners of Potentially Dangerous Dogs

The legal responsibilities and liabilities of potentially dangerous dog owners may be regulated by local, municipal, and county authorities. The regulations, however, cannot be breed specific.

Legal Responsibilities of Dangerous Dog Owners

  • Dangerous dogs must be registered with the state.
  • Dangerous dogs must either be confined indoors or confined outdoors in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure that prevents the entry of children, as well as the dog’s escape. The pen or structure must have secure sides and a secure top. When outside the enclosure, the dog must be muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and physically restrained by a responsible person over the age of 16.
  • The owner must post the property with a clearly-visible warning sign that alerts people that a dangerous dog is on the property. The owner must also conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog.
  • Dangerous dog owners must maintain liability insurance or a surety bond of at least $50,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog.

Liability of Owners with Dangerous Dogs

When a dangerous dog is permitted outside its enclosure and is not restrained by a responsible person, and the dog created an imminent threat of injury of death to any person, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces up to one year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, or both. the owner shall also be liable for damages sustained by the victim.

The owner of any dangerous dog that attacks any person causing the death of that person shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine of $25,000, or both.

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