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What are the consequences for my dog when someone (falsely) accuses him of biting them?

Mesa, AZ |

My step-father's grandson(about 10 years old) likes to claim our family dog (lab/pointer mix) bites him every time he comes over.The dog isn't so great with children & the child making the accusations pulls the dogs hair, etc to get him upset.He's growled but never bitten.

The grandson claimed the dog bit him again on Thanksgiving, which was a lie.Five adults were in the same room & saw nothing .The dog he accused wasn't even inside the house.He's also claimed the dog bit him when the dog was wearing a muzzle.

This kid is a liability & his parents are really sue happy.

We are terrified that his accusations could result in our dog taken away.We now leave with the dog when he will be there. What else should we do? If a complaint was made to pd/animal control, what would happen to my dog?

Attorney Answers 3


You are very sensible in removing the dog when the child is there.
As far as liability goes you wrote nothig about child's injuries that were visible. You did not mention that he had to go to a hospital to have a tetanus shot. So I will let the sleeping dogs lie, so to speak.
However should there be any investigation, you should be prepared. there are several things you can do. The obvious one is to have proof of all shots done reecntly. If not, take the dog to the vet on Tuesday.
Since your dog has issues with kids, please consider taking him to an appropriate triner now, Find one on-line or ask your vet.
Finally, just in case you don't miss it, check if the dog is properly licensed in your county.
Got it. Well, if there is nothing else, there is nothing to worry about. Happy Holidays.

This communication is not legal advice: no documents or facts were examined. This does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. The above is a common sense response to the limited question facts you provided.

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Each state has different laws regarding liability for dog bites. You can research your state law to determine the consequences for an actual bite. Many courthouses have a law library and the librarian could assist you. You can also contact animal control in your area and someone there could certainly explain what happens if a dog bite occurs. In Florida we have a dog bite statute and if an allegation of a dog bite occurs the consequences typically depend on the degree of damage caused by the bite. I would add that you should check with your homeowner's insurance to see if you have coverage for animal liability. Lastly, you may want to consider not allowing this child back into your house given his poor behavior towards your dog. Good luck to you.

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I'm confused - do you bring your dog to their home or are they coming to your home? If you bring the dog to their home then stop doing that. If they are coming to your home then you need to keep this child away from your dog. Put the dog in another part of the house where the child has no access to the dog. If this is not possible, then you need to let this child's parents know that unless they get a grip on the child's lying and abuse of your dog, they are no longer welcome in your home.

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

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