It is important for all New South Wales residents to be aware of the law which provides responsibilities to owners for the control of dogs and other companion animals. Whether you are an owner or not, it is essential that you know your rights and obligations in relation to the control of dogs on private property as well as in public places.

As a general rule, all dogs are required to wear a collar around its neck and attached to that collar a name tag with the owner’s details.

When you own a dog, you have a responsibility to ensure that the dog is prevented from escaping from your property. Penalties can be enforced against the owner of any type of dog who is not safely kept.

More importantly however, it is important to note that liability for injury caused by a dog can ultimately be held against its owner. A dog which is of a known dangerous breed requires a higher level of attention and therefore if a dog causes injury to a guest in one’s home or to a stranger in a public place, the owner of that dog will be liable and maybe subject to fines.

If you are injured as a result of a dog which is not appropriately restrained either in public or as a guest in someone’s house, you may have an entitlement to claim against the owner of the dog under both legislation and in some circumstances under the Common Law Rules of Negligence.  For example, if you are a guest lawfully present on one’s property and a dog, which is not a dangerous or prohibited dog attacks you, (and you did not intentionally provoke that dog), the owner can be liable for all injuries sustained to you if the dog injures you. Likewise, if you are a passer-by in the street and a dog escapes its property and causes you injury, the owner of that dog can be liable for both the injury to yourself or damage to your property.

The law of negligence further applies in circumstances where for example a dog escapes its property onto a road and causes a motor vehicle collision. Depending on the circumstances, the owner of the dog may be liable.

Injured from a dog attack?

If you have been injured as a result of a dog attacking you, you should contact Turner Freeman for advice as to what rights you may have.