Action by the plaintiff for damages for veterinary bills to treat injuries inflicted on her dog by the defendant’s dog. The defendant had been walking her leashed German shepherd along a highway when the plaintiff’s small dog ran loose out of the plaintiff’s house, approached the defendant’s dog and was subsequently bitten. The defendant alleged the plaintiff’s dog provoked the attack by aggressive behaviour. The defendant stated the dog had been with them for several years, had never been involved in violent incidents, she did not know the dog had any dangerous propensity, and she had not been negligent in her dog handling.
HELD: Action dismissed. There was no evidence the defendant was negligent in how she handled her dog on the day of the incident and the plaintiff was thus restricted to asserting legal liability in the common law doctrine of scienter. There was no evidence that the defendant had any, or should have had any, reason to know of any dangerous or mischievous propensities of her dog. The plaintiff also did not know of any dangerous propensity of the dog. The parties lived in close proximity and would likely have been aware of any dangerous dogs in the neighbourhood. The plaintiff’s claim for damages failed.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: New Brunswick