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New Jersey Animal Bite Lawyer Explains Dog Attacks & Pet Owner Liability


Interviewer: It's nice to be here today with you, Brian. I know you're an attorney with Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, and I know that you do a lot of work in municipal court. A lot of people seem to be worried about pets and getting into trouble with the law, is that something people should worry about?

Brian: It is. I've represented a number of clients that were cited for having dangerous pets. This typically comes as a result of a neighbor or someone living in town that is either bitten or attacked by a neighbor's dog and typically associated with, you know, dogs. Dogs always have to be licensed. And beyond that, a municipal court judge can actually find that a dog or a pet is a dangerous animal and can actually order the euthanization of an animal or family pet. We avoid... We usually are successful in having that resolution or that court finding to conclude in that way, and we usually can assist a client in avoiding the penalty of having their dogs euthanized.  But it is a ramification of the statute and some ordinances.

Interviewer: So wait a minute, I just want to understand this. So if have a dog, perfectly nice dog and my neighbor or my neighbor's kid teases and tortures my dog, and my dog barks or bites my neighbor, they could put my dog to sleep?

Brian: Potentially, yes, and that's a problem. And obviously, you know, owners, pet owners are very attached to their pets. But pets are very unpredictable and you never know, you know when a pet can or will, you know, assault or attack a neighbor or a small child. And even in playful terms, a dog can, you know, cause damage to somebody else. So you always have to be mindful as a pet owner. But pet owners are responsible for the actions of their dog. And so if you're charged or, you know, if anyone out there feels as if they have been charged or need some legal assistance with respect to a violation from their pet, they can call Helmer, Conley & Kasselman at 856-547-7888.

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