When a dog’s owner has retained possession of that pet, the owner becomes liable for any damage caused by the pet’s behavior. Still, not all dogs stay at the sides of their owners 24 hours a day. So, who becomes liable for a dog bite, when the owner is not present?
Personal injury lawyers use a legal term.
That term refers to the keeper of a pet canine. According to the law, the keeper has the duty of keeping that canine under control. Of course, as soon as the keeper hands possession of the dog back to the owner, the dog’s behavior becomes the owner’s responsibility. The law hands ultimate responsibility for a canine’s behavior to that animal’s owner, as per Injury Lawyer in Ottawa.
What is the legal definition of a keeper?
That is the person that has been given custody of one or more animals. The zoo keeper has been made responsible for all of the zoo’s animals. Someone that grooms dogs has agreed to become a keeper, while doing the grooming. That grooming could involve shearing off some of the dog’s hair, or cutting a pet canine’s claws.
Someone that walks dogs becomes a keeper each time that he or she takes a canine’s leash. The keeper is normally someone that needs to control the pets that get placed in his or her custody, usually at a spot away from that particular animal’s home.
Who would not be given the designation of keeper?
A visitor in a home with a dog could not be assigned the status of keeper. That fact holds true, even if the same visitor has volunteered to help his or her host, and to assist with administering care to the host’s four-legged-friend.
Because the visitor is not a keeper, that visitor’s presence in the home does not equate with the assumption of responsibility for the behavior of the host’s four-legged friend. As stated above, the canine’s owner has ultimate responsibility for that animal. If a dog somehow got lose, while a visitor was alone with the owner’s children, and that uncontrolled animal then bit someone, the owner could be held liable for the resulting damages. The visitor could not be held liable.
Naturally, owners must control their pets at all times, even when a visitor is present. That is certainly true, if the visitor’s presence in the home has resulted from a request for the same visitor’s services. Like a postman, a service worker that enters a yard or home could get bit by an uncontrolled dog. Consequently, it becomes the owner’s job to control that canine. If it bites the requested visitor, then the owner becomes liable for any damage done to the visitor’s body or clothing.