Keeping Up-to-Date with Changing Dog Bite Laws

Whether you’re a New York City veterinarian, the manager of a pet shop, or just a garden variety dog owner, it is vital to keep abreast of your local dog bite laws. These laws are in constant flux and are often changed, updated, and rewritten without much public fanfare. In the event of personal injury, the fine print can loom suddenly large, and awareness is the key to protecting yourself against litigation.

Understanding NY’s Dog Bite Accusations

In New York, there are two breeds of dog bite accusations: strict liability and negligence-based.

In the event that the victim of a dog bite sustains injuries which require treatment, the owner of a “dangerous dog” is on the hook for the victim’s medical bills. This is what is meant by strict liability. Strict liability extends to any livestock or companion animals that may have been injured in the attack. Per New York City’s dog bite statute, a dangerous dog is defined as one which:

  • attacks and injures or kills a person, farm animal, or pet without justification, or
  • behaves in a way that would make a reasonable person believe the dog poses “serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.”

Non-medical costs (property damage, et al) related to a dog bite fall under the umbrella of negligence. If a dog’s owner is accused of negligence, the prosecution will have to prove that the owner was careless in restraining the dog or warning others about the dog’s dangerous behavior. Often referred to as the “one bite rule,” negligence comes into effect if a dog behaves violently on one occasion and, in the aftermath, its owner does not make give appropriate warning to those who might come in contact with the dog.

When Can A Lawsuit Be Filed?

Claims and civil lawsuits can be filed within three years of the initial bite. With this in mind, it is especially important to keep up-to-date with the laws as they change, and also to consider the types of defense you can mount in order to protect you and your dog. The key is to spare your dog the “dangerous” label, and that can be avoided by advancing one or more of the following defenses.

In the event that the victim was trespassing on your property, it is possible to assert that the dog was protecting your property against an intruder. If there is any evidence or suggestion that the victim was tormenting or threatening the dog, a defense can be made that the dog was provoked but is not otherwise dangerous. Should the dog have been in pain or discomfort at the time of the attack, or if it was protecting its owner, family, or young, this is a valid defense that would challenge the “dangerous dog” label and open a new avenue for contesting the initial charges.

Bear in mind that dog bite laws apply not only to bites but, also to any other dog-related injuries resulting from the attack. It is also important to consider that a dog needn’t physically bite for it to be eligible for “one bite” status. It is sufficient that a dog might be dangerous. If this is suspected by the owner, or if it is a reasonable assumption given the dog’s size and breed, then the onus is on the owner to caution anyone who may come in contact with the dog.

Get Legal Help To Interpret The Law

New York City law allows victims to cast a surprisingly wide net with their accusations. If you are unsure of which defense to employ, consult a personal injury lawyer with expertise in the field. Though the scales may seem tilted in favor of the accuser, New York City law does take pains to protect citizens against trespassers. In general, property owners are not held to account for any injuries that a trespasser may sustain on private property, whether from the property owner or his or her dog.

Because these laws change often, and also due to the many nuances of the interpretation of each law, it is vital to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer so as to mount the most thorough and most effective defense.

 

Author Bio:

Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Queens Law Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989; The firm’s focus is in personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents, products liability, and medical malpractice.

animal rights awareness week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps the famous German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said it best when he said:

The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”

The week of June 17th marks the eighteenth Animal Rights Awareness Week (ARAW), which was called into life by the California animal rights group, discount pharmacy In Defense of Animals.

ARAW is designated as celebration of our synergistic relationship with animals and to educate people about means to bring more awareness and compassion into our world.

It can no longer be denied that animal rights and human rights are complementary, not contradictory.

I do not begrudge anyone buying their puppy or kitty from a store for the simple reason that these pets need a home, too. But the sad truth behind that type of spontaneous purchase is that it has far reaching ramifications.

Excepting ethical, and regulated breeders, it is a fact that “pet stores” perpetuate an evil sequence of cruelty, suffering and slaughter; and the buying and selling of animals solely to amass profits is not only ethically wrong but it supports the puppy mill and backyard breeder’s assembly line of production.

Today, only a handful of States have some sort of anti animal-cruelty or anti puppy-mill legislation, but that’s just not enough.

As long as politicians like New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, decline the regulation of animal cruelty, the toxic status quo continues to spread, and endangers more animal lives.

Every person I know treats their own pets with kindness, love and compassion. In other words, they already view Fido or Kitty as “family” and treat them with the same tenderness as human children. Sadly, many people are still not aware of the conditions in puppy mills, pet shops, some shelters, labs, zoos and circuses.

Animals are not mere commodities to be bought, sold and discarded on whim.

As long as we view animals as our personal property this vicious cycle cannot be broken. But a small adjustment in our thinking that animals are commodities might help raise awareness and compassion.

We are not their owners; we are their caregivers, companions and guardians! Or have you ever met a mother claiming her child to be her property?

This simple change of mind can greatly benefit animals. It can potentially lead to an increase of shelter adoptions, fewer abandonings, and people might develop a deeper sense of respect and compassion for companion animals that are now part of their families.

Collectively, we must make it our goal to work toward elevating the status of animals as well as to help increase today’s animal protection movement.

We should spend more time evaluating the relationship with our own furry friend, and then use our compassion to convince others of the fact that animals enrich our lives in countless ways, and, subsequently, persuade humanity that kindness and respect is due to all sentient creatures.

T.R. Firrigno

BEHIND the Scenes @ the Jumping Bulldog

Over and over we were asked to introduce our staff. Flattered by your requests, we are now excited to introduce to you the individual team members of the Jumping Bulldog. You will get a small glimpse into their passions and find out why they love what they do.

Unlike many other small businesses, staff turnover at the JB has been relatively low with some staff members working here 5+ years. Needless to say that our clients appreciate the trust that has been built over the years, and as a business owner it makes me proud to have such fine people working at the JB!

GROOMING

Yecid Malaver | senior groomer
yecidYecid + Bam Bam + Taco

This young man, who calls Colombia his first home, is the Jumping Bulldog’s senior groomer.

He was educated in his country in Animal Sciences. Yecid –often called the dog whisperer of Astoria- has obtained his first grooming license with the Oster School of Grooming in Columbia. Yet, this has not stopped this ambitious and passionate groomer to continue his education, both, in Columbia and the US, culminating in a second certification of the prestigious American Academy of Pet Grooming in Manhattan.

Yecid is well versed in many techniques benefitting the wellbeing of cats and dogs. From healing massages, to calming aromatherapy to tooth scaling, Yecid does it with love, patience and the fragile spirit of the animal in mind.

Yecid is the epitome of animal lover and advocate, operating his own animal shelter in Columbia (presently run by his family), he still manages to rescue pets in the United States.

Yecid is the proud dad of two lovely rescue pups, a Yorkie and a Chihuahua.

 

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DAYCARE + BOARDING

 

 

zoeZoe Manuel   |   playtime attendant

Zoe has worked at the Jumping Bulldog the longest. This young lady has been part of the team for six years already. As an aspiring vet Zoe knows that the dogs that come to the Jumping Bulldog become part of our big family. “Some may come and go”, she says, “but they still hold a special place in my heart.” Zoe knows that it is gratifying feeling to experience the unconditional love and trust that comes from our daycare and boarding dogs, who trust us to make sure they’re safe, but also that they have fun and enjoy their time with us. Zoe passionately says: “The personal bonds we’ve created are something I cherish tremendously.” This certainly shows in her attitude towards every furry friend that comes her way.

Zoe + mega buddy Rusty

 

 

 

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OPERATIONS

fullsizerender-3Diane Manuel   |   operations + customer service

Diane has been working at the JB for many years. She came to us after seeking a more mellow work environment with a focus on people interaction and pets.

Leaving a leading position at Snapple behind, this native Astorian joined the team without any delay and jumped right in. To this day Diane claims that she’s never been happier at any other job. This, of course, bodes well for all of us because Diane has long since become our client’s favorite go-to person for all things “Jumping Bulldog”. Grooming and daycare clients alike appreciate her calm demeanor, her friendly nature and the ability to handle whatever type of problem they throw at her.

Needless to say that the JB would not function well during my absence, if it were not for this multi-talented lady!

Vote for pet daycare @ Jumping Bulldog!

Happy weekend, y’all!

Many of you may be on a mini get-away this Holiday weekend and didn’t know what to do with your furry friends.  Well, we may be able to help you with this dilemma.  Just answer a few questions about pet daycare and boarding at the Jumping Bulldog and let’s see what we can do.

Let the polling begin 🙂

Please vote and Share!!!

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Spring Safety Tips for Pets

Woo-Wee-Woo, it’s spring time!!!

Woo Hoo, it's spring!

For our humans this is the time for spring-cleaning and BBQs, and for us canines this means O.U.T.D.O.O.R. time!!!  We get to play outside, sniff all the other doggie butts at the dog park, go on walks with our owners, play fetch, run, chase squirrels … oh, my, the list is long!

Yes, yes, yes, we’re super excited.  But it’s also super important that our parents’ take a number of precautions to make sure we’re happy and healthy this spring.

Check out these tips on how we can keep our best friends safe, healthy, happy and most importantly, keep their tails waggin’ with joy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, my name is…

It’s a great idea to equip me with proper identification before letting me run under the open sky.

I might be so excited to run around that I may end up chasing a squirrel or bunny, and suddenly run away from you or lose my way.  Just place a visible ID tag on my collar with your information.  This way, you can be sure that your squirrel-happy pup will be returned home.  Trust me, I don’t like to be away from my humans; I don’t like it one bit!

2

 

Fleas and ticks and critters… oh my!

My humans use flea and tick prevention for me year-round.  But it is especially important to use prevention during spring and summer when those creepy crawlers are particularly active, because those nasty critters can cause Lyme disease in dogs.  And let’s face it; flea infestations are no fun for anyone.  So, just tell your human that it’s best to prevent fleas and ticks before they happen.  Our parents can also help us by flea-combing our coats regularly, and by vacuuming frequently and disposing of the bags immediately after use.  And if you are lucky to have a grassy yard, tell your parent to please mow the lawn.

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Too cool for school…

Temperatures will be rising soon and humans have got to keep us cool. When we are outside on hot days, our temperatures rise higher than that of our parents because they don’t have a furry coat, an under-coat or fluffy hair.  So, it’s best they take us out for a walk or a run in the park when the sun is setting.  And if we are on a play date, they should make sure that there is always a shady retreat and plenty of water available.  Cuz’, slurp, we get thirsty, too.

You know we need water, if we are panting and have our tongues hanging out; that’s doggie code for “I’m thirsty, dude”.  And N.E.V.E.R., E.V.E.R., leave us in the car. You know some of us just love to go on rides with our humans, but only when they’re in the car with us. Even on a 60-degree day, temperatures can rise to 100 degrees inside a car.  Believe you me, it’s like a sauna, and it’s very stressful on us furballs.  When you realize that we are worn out and hot after chasing our best friends, please bring us inside and place a cool towel over the top of our neck, it does help.  Even better yet, just put a cooling bandana around our neck before you take us places.  That will help a lot, too.

pop

You remember those cheapo popsicles from the supermarket?  Tell your parents to buy them and suck them to cool themselves off.  Then, ask them to wash them out, fill them with our favorite doggie-safe broth (juice) and freeze them, and voilà, we have a pup-sicle 🙂

 

4

Born to run…

If Fido has been a couch potato all winter, then it’s a good idea to get her back into outdoor activity gradually. Just like our humans, exercising and building up muscles slowly will help prevent injuries. Before we can go running with you, you have to make sure that we can at least walk 30 to 60 minutes alongside your stride without getting tired.  Tell mom and dad to consider your individual personality and fitness level. If you are pleasantly plump, have joint problems or are on your way to becoming a senior, it won’t hurt to get a quick warm up.  My humans let me sniff and waddle at my own pace for about 10 minutes before they get me to strut my stuff.

Your humans can play fetch with you for a few minutes to get some of that emerging energy out by throwing the ball or Frisbee and letting you sprint after it.  But tell them to only do this for a few minutes so they don’t wear you out completely.

5

 

Scratch n’ sniff…

When it comes to allergies, dogs tend to have similar allergy symptoms as their humans. Fore example, grass and tree pollen may cause a dog to sneeze and have watery eyes- just like humans.

And a pup may develop itchy paws, too, which can cause us to lick, nibble and bite on them. This constant scratching, of course, may lead to open sores, raised welts and loss of hair.  So, tell your parents to do what they can to reduce the amount of allergens in the house by vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors often.  And they should pay special attention to your favorite spots in the house such as under beds, on the couch or near windows, maybe, and tell them to clean (vacuum or wash) window treatments regularly.  And lets not forget our bedding, which needs to be washed regularly using a gentle detergent that is free of dyes or perfumes.  It may also help for your humans to limit your outdoor time and activities during allergy season.  They can take you out or let you go potty when it’s less windy, or before they mow the lawn.

Now, there it is, my fine, furry friends.  With a little bit of effort and preparation your humans can almost guarantee you a happy, healthy and playful spring.

Happy sneezin’!

Ozzie

 

 

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