Strict Liability of Dog Owners in Connecticut for Injuries Caused by Their Dog

1372759_92182017.jpgA Groton man has agreed to surrender his dog to the city’s animal control department after the dog was allegedly involved in an attack on a man and his smaller dog. The smaller dog reportedly died as a result of the attack, and the man suffered injuries described as “serious.” Connecticut law imposes strict liability on individuals whose dogs are involved in attacks that cause injury to other people or their property, except in limited circumstances. Courts in Connecticut have also taken a broad view of insurance coverage for dog bite injuries, finding that many premises liability policies should cover them.

The Groton Patch reports that the attack occurred during the morning of Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at Groton’s Calvin Burrows Field. A 74 year-old man was walking his three year-old Silky Terrier when they were allegedly attacked by another dog. Few details of the incident are available, including how the other dog came to be in the field or whether its owner was nearby. The man was reportedly taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, and his dog went to Companion Animal Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

The Patch describes the attacking dog as a “Boxer-Pit Bull mix,” although it is not clear how this determination was made. “Pit bull” is often a catch-all category for a wide range of dog breeds with similar physical characteristics. Any breed of dog can be involved in an attack, and state and local laws apply equally to all breeds. Ultimately, owners bear the responsibility for damages caused by their dogs, but the dogs themselves face consequences ranging from impoundment to euthanasia.