Select a language

Dog owner liability

Region: Ontario Answer Number: 460

Animal Control

Generally, municipalities are responsible for animal control. If a person has a complaint about another person’s dog, they should contact their local animal control office. In emergency situations, the police should be contacted.

Liability when an injury occurs

If a person is bitten by a dog, they have the right to sue the dog’s owner for damages. It does not matter if the person was bitten due to the owner’s fault, negligence, or knowledge of the propensity of the dog to bite. Also, Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act makes dog owners liable for any damage caused by bites to persons or other domestic animals.

Injuries from a dog attack can range from wounds resulting from a dog bite, to injuries from a mauling. Injuries can range from minor scratches to permanent physical disabilities and disfigurement (such as the loss of an eye or permanent scarring). Medical care to treat the injuries is usually expensive and can be for a prolonged time period. In addition to the physical injuries, a dog attack could cause the victim to suffer psychological harm. If a lawsuit is successful, the court can order that damages be paid to the victim.

In serious cases, an application can be made to a court for an order to destroy or euthanize a vicious dog. The court can also order an owner to provide better control of the animal by ensuring it is on a leash, muzzled, confined to a secure area with warning signs, or prohibit them from owning a dog for a certain time.

Pit Bull bans

Ontario also specifically bans “pit bulls” from being bred, imported or transferred through the province. Pit bulls in the province before 2005 are exempted. That said, a “restricted pit bull” must be muzzled, leashed and sterilized. An offence can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and/or six months in jail.

What to do if you have been injured in a dog attack

If you have been bitten or more seriously injured by a dog, you should immediately seek medical attention. There are a number of additional things you should also do:

  • record the name and contact information of the dog owner
  • record the name and contact information of any witnesses
  • take photographs of: the dog, your injuries, and where the injury occurred
  • save any clothing or other possessions damaged by the dog
  • do not immediately admit fault with the owner’s insurance company or accept any settlement
  • report your injury to the police and request a copy of the report
  • contact a personal injury lawyer

If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury from a dog attack, contact our preferred Personal Injury lawyers and see who’s right for you. They offer a free consultation and do not charge up-front fees: 

PIA Law

Neinstein Personal injury Lawyers



																

You now have 4 options:



Neinstein June 2017 Ontario Animals 460Neinstein June 2017 Ontario Animals 460

PIA Law July 2017 Ontario Animals 460PIA Law July 2017 Ontario Animals 460




Was your question answered?

Was your question answered?


Yes    No


What information would you like to see added?


Submit an Edit Request










What are your changes?*

Page loaded. Thank you