Last Updated: 3/2/2023
Any veterinary office or kennel may be liable in a dog bite lawsuit if a dog attacked a third party at their facility. Veterinarians and kennel owners often protect their businesses by purchasing liability insurance for these cases.
However, just because a dog at a kennel or veterinary office attacked you does not mean the facility is automatically liable for injuries or damages. The vet’s or dog kennel’s negligence as well as Iowa dog bite laws play an important role in the outcome.
Liability for a Dog Bite in a Vet’s Office or Dog Kennel
The bite will not be the victim’s responsibility unless the victim did something to provoke the dog like pull its tail or otherwise torment it. Bite victims should explore Iowa dog bite laws and the circumstances of the bite to determine liability in a dog bite lawsuit for damages like medical bills or pain and suffering.
For instance, imagine someone else’s dog bit you at a vet office while it was in the care of a veterinarian. The dog’s owner and the vet could potentially be liable. The dog was in the care of the vet so the vet might be liable for damages, but the owner should communicate the dog’s temperament if he or she knows the dog’s temperament is malicious.
For example, if the owner of the dog that attacked a third party knew that the dog exhibited aggressive behavior before coming into the kennel or veterinary office, and the owner notified the kennel or veterinary office of the dog’s aggression, the victim may be able to prove that the kennel or veterinary office did not take precautions to protect its patrons from the dog.
Further, according to Iowa Code 351, an owner is strictly liable if his or her dog bites a person. However, a dog owner may not be strictly liable if the dog has rabies and the owner did not know at the time of the bite. If the owner knew the dog had rabies and could have reasonably prevented the bite, then the owner could be liable.
Discuss the Case with an Attorney Familiar with Iowa Dog Bite Cases
So talk to an attorney about liability in these cases to get a better idea about which party or parties may be liable if another person’s dog bit or attacked you while at a dog kennel or vet’s office. Much will depend on the details of the dog bite, including responsibility for the dog and whether the dog kennel or vet was negligent.
Nevertheless, it may not be in your best interest to handle a dog bite lawsuit against a veterinary office or kennel without proper legal counsel like the attorneys at Walker, Billingsley and Bair. Filing a claim against a business like a vet’s office or a dog kennel can be a daunting task that requires legal knowledge.