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Connecticut Leash Law

Posted on November 24, 2021 in

Every year, hundreds of dog bite injury victims are sent to hospitals with serious and painful injuries that can leave both physical and emotional scars. In an effort to prevent dog attacks, Connecticut, like most states, has laws that require pet owners to keep their pets under control in public areas. If a pet owner violates a leash law and this results in a dog attack, the owner could be financially responsible for any injuries caused.

What Are Connecticut’s Leash Laws?

In the State of Connecticut, it is not a requirement to have a dog on a leash at all times. However, Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) Section 22-364 states that pet owners must not permit their dogs to wander onto state parks, public highways, sidewalks or someone else’s property if the dog is not under control. In addition, many cities in Connecticut have local ordinances that require pet owners to keep their dogs on leashes.

If a pet owner violates the state’s leash law, it is an infraction. However, if the owner or keeper of the dog knew that the dog had vicious propensities, had previously violated the state’s dog law in the preceding year, and the dog bites or injures someone while roaming at large, the penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

What Is Connecticut’s Dog Bite Law?

Connecticut has a strict liability dog bite law under CGS Sec. 22-357 that holds pet owners financially responsible for injuries and damages caused by their pets, regardless of whether the owner knew of the dog’s propensity for viciousness or was negligent. This means that if you get bitten by a dog in Connecticut, the pet owner must pay for your medical bills. In a one-bite state, on the other hand, it is a requirement to prove that the dog had bitten someone previously and that the owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent a subsequent bite to recover compensation.

What if a Dog Bites You While Off-Leash?

Connecticut’s state and local dog leash laws are in place to reduce the risk of dog bite injuries. If you get bitten or injured by a dog that is roaming at large, you may be entitled to financial compensation. In this scenario, you could base a personal injury case on negligence even if the strict dog bite liability law does not apply. Ask yourself the following questions to learn more about your rights:

  • Were you in a public place that does not allow dogs to run at large? If so, the pet owner may have been breaking state law by failing to have his or her dog on a leash and could be guilty of negligence per se – negligence proven by the fact that the person broke a law.
  • Were you on the pet owner’s private property? Pet owners in Connecticut are allowed to have their dogs off-leash on their own private properties. If you were allowed on the property, the owner is still responsible for a dog bite injury. If you were trespassing, however, you may not have a legal remedy.
  • Did you instigate the attack or provoke the dog? If you contributed to the dog bite injury by provoking, irritating or harming the dog, you may not be eligible for financial compensation from the pet owner’s insurance company.
  • Was the dog performing official duties at the time? In Connecticut, a dog bite injury victim does not have grounds to file a claim against a dog that was performing official duties for the police or another agency at the time of the bite.

Dog bite injury cases in Connecticut can be complicated. For more information about Connecticut’s leash laws, people who own dangerous dogs, the strict liability law and how to obtain financial compensation for a dog bite injury, contact a Stratford dog bite injury lawyer at Connolly Brennan Ralabate, PC today.