COVID-19 Pandemic and an Increase in Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant physical, mental, and economic challenges. The recurring lockdowns can result in social isolation for some among us and having a dog or other animal can prove beneficial for our mental health. For many of us, our form of activity these days is getting outdoors for a walk. The recent news of a cyclist being attacked by dogs in Hamilton highlights an escalating problem. There has been an increasing number of dog bites and animal attacks in Ontario. 

To avoid such attacks which can possibly result in traumatic personal injury – both physical and mental, it is important that owners of dogs and other animals carefully follow the laws and regulations governing pet ownership. Many municipalities also have animal ownership by-law that could trigger sanctions for the owner of an offending pet animal.  

“If you are anywhere in the City of Hamilton (other than your backyard or private property such as a farm) and you have a dog it has to be on a leash. Otherwise it is an offence” said Ken Leendertse, Director Licensing and By-law Enforcement – City of Hamilton. Moreover, the legislation in Ontario imposes strict liability on dog owners for the damage suffered by the victims. In other words, it is not necessary to prove that the owner of the dog was negligent for personal injury of the victim.  

If you have suffered a dog bite or animal attack, please take these next steps immediately. 

Virk Personal Injury Law is available to explain your rights and different options to obtain compensation for any serious injury and hurt. 

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