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What will happen to my dog if he bites someone?

If you are a Connecticut dog owner, it would behoove you to make sure that he does not bite someone who is on your premises and that he does not escape from your home or yard and bite someone. If he does, not only are you liable for any personal injuries and/or property damage he causes, but he faces death by shooting, euthanasia, or other means.

The Michigan State University Animal Legal & Historical Center advises that Chapter 435, Section 22-358, of the Connecticut General Statutes Annotated  sets forth when it is legal to kill a dog that is doing damage and who may do so. In terms of authorized persons, these include the following:

  • An owner of domestic animals or poultry that your dog is pursuing or worrying
  • Any animal control officer, municipal or regional, who observes such pursuit or worrying
  • Any law enforcement officer, municipal or state, who observes such pursuit or worrying
  • Any person attacked and bitten by your dog

As to a person bitten by your dog, however, he or she may kill your dog only during the actual attack, not afterward. Instead, he or she must make a complaint about the alleged attack to Animal Control, after which an officer must immediately investigate such complaint.

Quarantine

If your dog allegedly bites someone on your premises and that person makes a complaint, Animal Control can require you to place your dog in quarantine; i.e., under house arrest, for 14 days. If the alleged dog bite occurred away from your premises and the victim made a complaint, Animal Control personnel can come to your home, take your dog, with or without your permission, and place him in quarantine for 14 days at the pound. Alternatively, Animal Control can require you to quarantine your dog for 14 days at a veterinary hospital, kennel or some other facility approved for quarantine by the commissioner. Either way, you must pay all associated fees.

While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the process and what to expect if your dog bites someone.

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