Dogs are often loyal and loving pets. However, when owners are negligent or careless, or animals are unduly aggressive and threatening, serious injuries can occur. That is why the state of Connecticut has specific laws regarding aggressive dogs, as explained here.
Strict liability applies
Connecticut is a strict liability state. That means the dog’s owner is completely responsible for what occurred, regardless if there was prior evidence that the dog was aggressive. The owner is also still culpable regardless if he or she was considered negligent.
Despite the prevalence of strict liability statutes, common law negligence laws may also apply. In this case, a party other than the owner of the dog can be held responsible if he or she was aware of the problem (e.g the dog’s aggression) and failed to act. For example, if a landlord was aware of complaints against an aggressive animal and failed to remove it or the owner from the premises, then that landlord could be held liable in court for any injuries that result.
How aggressive dogs are handled
After a dog attack, the animal can be quarantined. Quarantine lasts for a period of 14 days, and can take place in a number of settings. A vet’s office, kennel, or public pound may all be acceptable quarantine options, provided they are approved by the Department of Agriculture commissioner. During this time, the animal will be examined to ensure it is not infected with rabies.
Depending on the outcome of the quarantine, it may be determined that the animal should be disposed of by the proper authorities. The owner of the animal can request a hearing in this case. If the owner prevents an animal from being seized, either for quarantine or disposal, he or she will be subject to a Class D misdemeanor. This offense can incur both fines and jail time, depending on its nature.