Thomas J. Newell

Legal Options when Your Dog Is Killed by Another Dog in PA


Perkasie, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/07/2015 -- On January 2, 2015, PA dog bite injury lawyer Thomas J. Newell received a telephone call from a Bucks County woman whose Bichon was mauled to death by an unleashed pit bull mix breed dog. The PA dog attack victim wanted to know what her legal options were in filing a dog bite claim in Pennsylvania.


When a dog attack happens in PA, there are 2 sections of the PA Dog Law which most frequently apply: Section 305 - Failure to Confine, and Section 502-A - Harboring a Dangerous Dog. Your Pennsylvania dog attack attorney informed her that if the police only charged the negligent pit bull owner with Failure to Confine, there would be no restitution for her vet/cremation expenses.

Only a conviction of Harboring a Dangerous Dog provides the District Justice with the ability to award restitution to the innocent dog owner. Attorney Newell reviewed with her these important distinctions regarding the PA Dog Law.


Unfortunately, under Pennsylvania's civil case law precedent, a dog owner is only able to recover the actual value of the dog, not the amount of vet/cremation expenses. An animal is viewed as chattel, just like a car, and therefore the recoverable cost to repair personal property cannot exceed its value. See Fox v. Ross, Chester County Court of Common Pleas #2011-06012, Judge Griffith's Decision of April 2, 2013.


About Thomas J. Newell
PA dog attack attorney Thomas J. Newell provides a free HOME consultation to anyone with a dog bite claim throughout Pennsylvania. Put his 34 years of personal injury litigation experience to work for you. Call him today at 800-980-4842.

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