Dogs May Lose Right To Bite – New York Considering Movement Into 20th Century

Although it is thought of as a liberal state, New York’s dog bite laws are almost exactly the same ones that were created in the 17th century by British judges for the quaint English countryside. In this state, the courts have ruled that there is no such thing as dog owner negligence. (See New York for details.) New York is almost alone with that interpretation because, in the past 300 years, there have been changes just about everywhere else in the USA.

I was quoted accurately in Newsday as saying that these changes have been escalating around the USA. (Click here to read the Newsday article.) It makes sense because in the 1600s there were no pit bulls, the practice of dog fighting had not been invented, there was no insurance industry to spread the risks, and there was no USA with its focus on fairness and human rights. All those things have changed, and that is why dogs have lost their right to bite in most states.

The news is that New York’s highest court is, once again, faced with a disfigured dog bite victim who needs to make an insurance claim, but who cannot unless the laws are changed. The judges have another shot at getting it right. Let’s see how they rule, in the next few months. (To read about the case, click on the link in the prior paragraph.)