In our area there are quite a few parks and places where it seems that dogs might be able to run freely, but letting your dog off the leash could lead to a New Haven dog bite injury and cause someone to get hurt badly by your dog. For that matter, even if your dog doesn’t injure someone else she/he might become injured when running around as you really never know what they will get into when they are off leash.
Before we talk about letting your dog off leash in a park, it is important to acknowledge that letting your dog off leash around the city of New Haven is a huge problem. Not only can it present dangers for your dog, but can also cause traffic issues if your dog runs out into the road and it can cause dangers for those who you are sharing the sidewalk and streets with, putting them at an unnecessary risk. It is critical that if you are bringing your dog around the streets of the Elm City that she/he remains on a leash to keep everyone safe and at ease.
Where it might get more tempting to let your dog off leash is in a park or open space where the dog will have a lot of space to roam around and even get out and run. Having a dog in a city, like New Haven, can leave you longing to let your dog off leash so she/he can get out and get some needed exercise. This may be good for the dog when nothing happens, but there are risks associated with this too and you should be aware of some of them.
One of the main risks of having your dog off leash, even in a park or open space, is that she/he may feel threatened or that they are in danger by other humans who are walking by which will cause them to attack and harm the human. When your dog bites a person it can not only cause serious injury and in some rare cases death, it also puts you at risk as the dog’s owner because Connecticut’s dog bite laws are strict liability. Strict liability means that even if you were not found negligent in how you were handling your animal, you may still be held liable.
By keeping your dog off leash you may also be putting your dog at risk of coming into contact with other aggressive animals. Even if you “know” your dog will not cause any problems with other dogs along the way or other wild animals that your dog may encounter, you can never be certain. Not only could your dog getting into a confrontation with another dog or wild animal cause her/him harm it may also leave you having to grapple with finding a new home for your dog or even, in some severe cases, require that you have to put your dog down for her/his actions.
Some of the other things that can create problems for you and your dog by letting her/him roam off leash, may not cause you any legal or financial risks, but they can certainly cause your animal distress and cause you emotional distress when dealing with issues that your dog may encounter. For instance, your dog off leash may roam into an area where there is toxic or poisonous debris that your dog may eat which could lead to serious medical conditions. While this may not cause you any legal troubles, it could cause you serious anguish as your animal may become ill and even die from this encounter.
Most dog owners do not set out to put their dog in a position to become aggressive and cause troubles for either other humans or dogs, dogs can be unpredictable and their actions can lead to a New Haven dog bite injury unexpectedly. In the event that this occurs, you may find yourself in legal hot water and also liable for any injuries or property damage that your dog becomes responsible for when involved in an altercation with a human or another animal.
If you do find yourself in a difficult situation where your animal has caused you to be facing the prospect of legal or financial liability you may need to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.