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Will Dog Be Put Down if it Bites Someone?

Posted on: July 30th, 2020

Did you know there are about 90 million pet dogs in the United States? ere  And, with the recent population boom here in Denver, we have seen a huge increase in dogs as well. In fact, the Denver Parks and Recreation Department estimates there are about 158,000 dogs across 99,000 households. If that is the case, there are more dogs in Denver than there are kids. With that many dogs, it is little wonder that there are more and more dog bite attacks occurring.

The truth of the matter is, Denver is among the most dog-friendly cities in the US. With ample open space, numerous dog parks, and people out and about more frequently, dog bite attacks do happen. If you are a victim, please contact a Denver dog bite attorney to learn more about your options.

Understanding Denver Dog Bite Laws

Before we get into whether a dog will be put down if it bites someone, it is crucial to understand Colorado dog bite laws. Many states have strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites, and others employ negligence under premises liability laws. Here in Colorado, our unique dog bite law uses a combination of both strict liability and negligence.

Here in Colorado, if the dog bite causes severe bodily damage or death, strict liability comes into play. Severe bodily damage can include:

Strict liability assigns liability to the dog owner if any of the above occur, even if the owner had no prior cause to believe the dog would attack. Strict liability also applies if the dog has no previous aggression or had a non-aggressive status, but still caused severe injury.

If the injuries are not as severe, then premises liability or negligence may apply. If this is the case, the victim has to prove that the dog owner failed to provide reasonable care to control the dog and prevent the dog bite attack.

Will the Dog Be Put Down if it Bites?

We do get this question a great deal. We know some victims of dog bite attacks, especially if a family member’s dog attacks them, are reluctant to file a report as they are afraid the dog will be put down. After all, most people love dogs, as do we!

In most cases, when the dog bite is not severe, there will be a report filed on the dog, and the dog can be placed in a shelter for observation. In some cases, the court may require the owner and dog to go through training to help mitigate the dog from biting in the future.

If the injuries are severe or result in death, the owner may face felony or misdemeanor charges. This can also happen if this is the second instance of a less severe bite. If the owner is found guilty, the dog can be placed in a shelter at the owner’s expense. At this point, depending on the judge’s discretion (and if the judgment is upheld), they can order the dog to be euthanized.

Brian Pushchak | Personal Injury Law Firm Denver, CO
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