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Senate Bill No. 921

Public Act No. 13-223

AN ACT CONCERNING LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE CAUSED BY A DOG.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 22-357 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or, if the owner or keeper is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for the amount of such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, was under seven years of age at the time [the] such damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action. For the purposes of this section, "property" includes, but is not limited to, a companion animal, as defined in section 22-351a, and "the amount of such damage", with respect to a companion animal, includes expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the companion animal and burial expenses for the companion animal.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 22-355 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) When any person sustains damage by dogs to [his] such person's sheep, goats, horses, hogs, cattle, poultry or domestic rabbits kept in enclosures as described in subsection (f) of this section, such person shall report such damage to the chief administrative officer of the town in which such damage was sustained, or [his] the chief administrative officer's agent, or, if such damage was sustained on land located in two or more towns, [he] such person shall report such damage to such authority of either of such towns. [Thereupon such] Upon receiving such report, the authority, with the person claiming to have sustained such damage, shall estimate the amount of such damage, including expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the animals or poultry killed, injured or damaged by such dogs and burial expenses for the animals or poultry killed by such dogs. If such authority and the person claiming to have sustained such damage are unable to agree as to the amount thereof, they shall choose some disinterested third person to assist in estimating the damage. Information required by this subsection shall be given within twenty-four hours after the person claiming under this section has or should have had knowledge of the same or, if the intervention of a Sunday or holiday prevents the reporting thereof, on the next succeeding business day. No claim for such damages shall be allowed to any person (1) who owns, keeps or has in possession any unlicensed dog, (2) whose employee, living on the premises, keeps an unlicensed dog which is six months of age or over, or (3) who fails to report such damage within the time limited by this section. The burden of proving the allegations of any claim under this section shall be on the person claiming under this section.

Approved June 25, 2013