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Can kennel owners be liable for injuries to pets?

We have written a lot previously on this blog about the rights people have to seek and possibly be compensated for pain and suffering inflicted by another person's pet dog, cat or other animal.

That such means of recovery are available under the law is only right. The injuries that are caused by such attacks can require long-term medical treatment and result in serious physical disfigurement. There is also the possibility of psychological trauma to the victim. Any way you look at it, animal attacks can be devastating. If they happened because of negligence on the part of pet's owner or keeper, they should expect to be held accountable.

But what about those instances in which a beloved companion pet is left with a keeper and winds up attacked by another animal in the facility? Doesn't the same notion of strict liability that holds owners and keepers in Connecticut legally responsible for any injury or damage done by animals in their charge apply?

The answer is that it well might. It depends on the elements of the case and interpretations of the applicable laws. That's why it's always important to speak with an attorney who has a depth of experience in such cases.

A case out of Rhode Island may serve as an example. A kennel owner in Providence is under the shadow of an order to close his boarding facility and he could also be required to pay a $15,000 fine. The penalties -- the first under a new animal protection law in the state -- stem from an incident in which one dog attacked another. The victim dog had to be put down.

An investigation of the matter concluded that the animals hadn't been under proper supervision and that the kennel's license wasn't valid because of a change in ownership. The current owner is appealing the closure order and he continues operating pending that appeal.

If you've been the victim of an animal attack or lost a beloved companion animal due to the negligence by someone you entrusted with its care, you should make sure you know what your rights are for seeking recovery.

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