Should There be Changes to North Carolina’s Dangerous Dog Law?

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Should There be Changes to North Carolina’s Dangerous Dog Law?


Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

A Cleveland woman is hoping to use her recent ordeal as a catalyst to encourage North Carolina to change the state’s dangerous dog law. Kadie Anderson and her two dogs were hiking in the woods of Graham County when she and her two dogs were attacked by several bear hunting hounds. The hunting dogs’ owners eventually emerged and were able to stop the attack, but not before both Kadie and her two dogs suffered serious injuries. Kadie’s two dogs required over $1,000 in medical treatment, and Kadie herself required rabies shots totaling $600.

North Carolina’s Dangerous Dog Law

 North Carolina imposes a duty on the owners of “dangerous dogs.” A “dangerous dog” is one that kills or injures a person, one that has killed or severely injured a domestic animal while on another’s property, or one that has approached a person who is not on the dog owner’s property in a vicious or terrorizing manner. If a person’s dog fits the definition of a “dangerous dog” then the dog must be confined and prohibited from leaving the owner’s property without a leash and muzzle or other forms of restraint.

If a dangerous dog causes injury to another person requiring more than $100 worth of medical treatment, the owner can be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Not only this, the owner can be held strictly liable in a civil suit for the injuries caused. “Strict liability” means that an injured plaintiff does not need to show that the dog owner was negligent or careless in any way: simply showing that the dog was owned by the defendant and the dog fit the definition of a “dangerous dog” is sufficient.

As Kadie Anderson discovered, however, there is an important exception in North Carolina’s dangerous dog statute for hunting dogs. Specifically, the statute exempts a dog “being used in a lawful hunt” or injuries sustained by a domestic animal where the otherwise dangerous dog was working as a “hunting dog.”

What Should I Do if I Am Attacked by a Dangerous Dog?

If you, a loved one, or a family pet is injured by a dangerous dog, it is imperative that you treat any injuries right away. If you do not recognize the dog, a rabies shot may be necessary. Try to obtain an accurate description of the dog and attack, including anything distinctive about the dog, the direction it came from or left toward, and whether anyone approached you and claimed ownership of the dog. The more details you remember about the incident, the easier it will be to obtain compensation for your injuries.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.


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