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Connecticut town residents want harsher penalty for animal bites

The vast majority of dog owners take care to ensure that their pets behave properly. In the event that a dog escapes its property, an innocent bystander could suffer serious physical injuries from animal bites. Even though Connecticut already has strict liability laws regarding unprovoked attacks, residents in one town want new measures in place.

Recently, the board of selectmen in one town held a community meeting during which the issue of attacks by dogs was addressed. A new law in the town has been proposed that would result in any dog that attacks another pet or a human being put down immediately. Apparently, an increase in dog attacks locally has prompted the board to act.

In Nov. 2017, a man was on an outing with two small pets when a larger dog attacked one of the smaller dogs. Though the owner attempted to protect the much smaller animal, the attack proved to be fatal. Furthermore, two years prior, a male resident was attacked without provocation by a large mixed-breed dog. The victim suffered serious bite wounds to several areas of his body that required dozens of stitches in order to close the wounds.

The dog in that attack is still being held by local authorities while its fate is decided. The board of selectmen made inquires into the delay of the decision though the final outcome remains unknown. The victim and his wife claimed they needed additional treatment to recover from the post-traumatic stress disorder that developed after the terrifying incident.

It is unclear whether the officials in Portland, Connecticut will take any action on the proposal to euthanize any dog that engages in a serious attack on either people or pets. In the meantime, the strict liability laws in the state hold any owner financially accountable for the damages caused by an unprovoked attack by his or her pet. Victims who suffer serious injuries from animal bites may choose to file a civil lawsuit against the party or parties believed responsible in an effort to recover financial losses.

Source:, "Connecticut town seeks to rachet up penalties for canine attacks on dogs, humans," Jeff Mill, Jan. 2, 2018

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