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Dog bites: owners warned to take responsibility

Following a string of incidents involving dog bites, Katrina Elsey, personal injury lawyer and specialist in animal claims has issued a warning to dog owners to take responsibility for their animals whilst out and about in public places.

Katrina said: “This is especially important now whilst many people are taking daily exercise and are frequently out and about in public places with their dogs.

“Owners are liable for negligent harm caused by their dogs. Even if a dog is on a lead and attacks, the owner or person in control of the dog at the time may still be found to be negligent.”

In a recent case, Katrina recovered £2,000 compensation for a client who suffered dog bites to his thigh. The man was out running at a local beauty spot near his home when he was suddenly surrounded by 5 or 6 barking dogs.

As he tried to calm the dogs, he was bitten on the back of the thigh, leaving two small wounds. The dog handler arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.

The man went to A&E at Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he was treated for his injuries and given a Tetanus booster and a course of antibiotics to prevent infection.

The dog owner denied liability but later agreed to an out of court settlement.

In another incident highlighted in a recent newspaper story, a woman out having her daily exercise during lockdown feared for her life when she was savagely attacked by two dogs.

Angela Harder, a security guard, was walking her neighbours Yorkshire terrier Ellie in the local park when two greyhound type dogs bounded towards her.

As they started ripping into Ellie, Angela hoisted the little dog above her head. But as she did, the dogs instead lunged towards Angela’s throat.

She had to throw the terrier into a fenced off play area to save her before fleeing the park. Angela commented: “I had no chance against these dogs. If I was a child I would have been killed”

Police are investigating the attack which left Ellie’s owner with a £500 vet’s bill.

If you have been bitten see the NHS advice on dealing with dog bites (and human bites)

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured by a dog bite or in a dog attack, contact us to see if we can help you claim compensation. Call and speak to our team on 01302 320621 or email

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