Ontario holds dog owners strictly liable for dog bites.
- Litigation forms and other materials for attorneys
- If your case involves injury to a dog, see When a Dog Is Injured or Killed
The Dog Owners Liability Act (Dog Owners’ Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16) provides:
Liability of owner
2. (1) The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal. R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16, s. 2 (1).
Where more than one owner
(2) Where there is more than one owner of a dog, they are jointly and severally liable under this section. R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16, s. 2 (2).
Extent of liability
(3) The liability of the owner does not depend upon knowledge of the propensity of the dog or fault or negligence on the part of the owner, but the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the damages. R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16, s. 2 (3).
Contribution by person at fault
(4) An owner who is liable to pay damages under this section is entitled to recover contribution and indemnity from any other person in proportion to the degree to which the other person