Within the past 2 years, the list of defenses that a dog owner might use, if that pet canine was to bite someone has gotten a bit longer. Of course, most dog owners prefer to stick with one of the standard defenses.

The victim of the dog’s attack had provoked that angry canine.

The provocation could take the form of an abusive act or a string of taunting words. The appearance of an anticipated guest, such as a mailman, could not be pointed to as a provocative act.

In addition, the accusation about provocation of the pet canine would not serve as a strong defense, if a dog has bit a child. Adults, even those that work within the legal system, understand the curious and loving nature of a child that has approached a domesticated animal.

A trespasser had stepped onto property that the dog had been trained to protect.

That is a strong defense. An attacked trespasser cannot sue a dog’s owner, unless that same owner actually ordered the pet canine to attack the trespasser. As mentioned above, an expected guest, such as a mailman would not deserve to receive a trespasser’s treatment.

Again, children seldom count as trespassers, unless the dog’s owner had made an effort to keep children away from a vicious pet. Some dog owners do that by fencing-in their 4-legged guard. Still, a small child could not be said to have accepted a known risk by venturing past a fence’s open gate.

Assumption of risk by an adult

Injury Lawyer in Richmond Hill knows that this defense pertains to any adult that works in a profession that demands close contact with animals. For instance, it would apply to a veterinarian that had been bit by a four-legged canine patient. The assumption of risk could not be used against a service worker that got bit while responding to a request for a service call.

Protection of the owner

That rather new defense might be used if a dog’s owner got pepper-sprayed by the person that had startled the pet owner’s canine, and had received a bit of a nip. The sight of the pepper spray could have triggered the effort to bite the sprayer, and to protect the canine’s owner.

The law does not give the victim of a mildly provoked pet the right to use some agent against that same domesticated animal. The legal system recognizes the fact that a dog’s love for its owner would cause it to act viciously towards someone that had aimed a weapon at that same owner. Indeed, during a recent court case, the court’s ruling made it clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the legal system has, chosen to recognize that particular fact.

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