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F. Dog bite

The owners of domestic animals may be liable for damages if they have knowledge that the animal is likely to cause injuries to human beings.  No liability exists where the damage was done wholly due to the fault of the person suffering it (e.g. the person was trespassing on private property) or had voluntarily assumed the risk (e.g. the person was voluntarily romping with a friend’s dog, or had agreed to look after someone’s dog).


However, an owner of a domestic animal may also be liable for damage caused by the animal if particular circumstances exist which in themselves imposed a duty on the owner to take precautions, and the owner failed to do so.


The owner of a tame dog may be liable for negligence if he puts it in such a position and in such circumstances as to render it likely to get excited, lose its temper, and cause a danger to people. There may be cases in which a defendant may be liable for a dog bite even if the dog does not belong to a ferocious breed. He may be liable if it can be proved that the dog was put in such a position that a reasonable man would have known that the dog was likely to cause a danger, and therefore the defendant ought to have regarded himself as under an obligation to take precautions to prevent the dog from biting someone.