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The potential for harm at the dog park

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2020 | Animal Bites & Attacks

Bringing dogs to a dedicated park where they can run unleashed has numerous benefits for both owners and their pets. New Jersey’s dog parks, however, have particular dangers. With an awareness of them, dog owners may prevent canine attacks, bites and serious injuries.

Most dog parks allow pets to exercise, play and run freely within fenced areas designated for off-leash activities. Some parks permit up to 25 unleashed dogs inside marked areas. It could, however, get overcrowded when several canine breeds of various sizes come together and interact. This brings about a greater chance of a bite or an injury.

Owners owe a duty of care to supervise their pets

Each dog’s owner or handler owes a duty of care to control his or her dog and prevent it from biting or attacking other animals or humans. As reported by The New York Times, most public dog parks do not have onsite supervisors, nor do they screen dogs for aggression before entering the park area. Rough play and fights can break out between canines of all sizes and demeanors.

An owner or handler must remain with the dog at all times and control it while inside the designated off-leash areas. Puppies and inexperienced dogs may require additional supervision, especially when they are still learning how to socialize with other dogs.

If a pet begins to bark excessively or show signs of aggression, its owner must control its behavior or take the dog home. Owners may intend for their pets to release tension or excess energy at a dog park, but predicting a dog’s behavior around other animals can be difficult.

Injuries can result in a legal action

Under the Garden State’s laws, owners are strictly liable for bites, attacks or any harm that their dogs cause to humans or other animals. When an injury from a dog bite occurs in a public place such as a dog park, sidewalk or picnic area, the animal’s owner can incur the liability of covering medical or veterinary expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.