If a person gives away their dog and several hours later it bites one of the new owner’s children, is the original owner liable?

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If a person gives away their dog and several hours later it bites one of the new owner’s children, is the original owner liable?

My brother had been looking for new owner for his dog because he did not have the time to give the dog what it deserved. He found a new owner and they picked the dog up and took it home. Several hours later they brought it back claiming that it had bitten one of their children, who they had to take to the ER. The dog is over a year old and has no history of biting and has no violent tendencies at all. Is my brother liable because at the time of the supposed bite, he was the other person’s dog?

Asked on June 1, 2015 under Personal Injury, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your brother did not own the dog at the time of the bite, and the dog had no history of biolence or biting, so that your brother would not have concealed important information from the adopting family to get them to take the dog, then no, your brother should not be liable; based on what you write, there does not appear to be a basis for imposing liability. Only concealment of dangerous tendencies would typically make a former dog owner liable for what happens after he no longer owns it.


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