In my practice at Shaun Kaufman Law, I sue dog owners for owning dogs that bite innocent people. At the same time, we own two Rottweilers. As I write this, eleven-month-old Jack Nicholson (seen above) is sleeping at my feet, and six-year-old Aretha Franklin is in the basement, happily snoring away. How can I, a loving Rottweiler owner, sue other people for owning bad dogs that bite people? Here is the easy, short answer: because we love our dogs enough to understand they need to be trained and exercised.

Love equals training. A person might love a dog, but if they give a dog (especially a larger dog) no yard to romp in, no toys to play with, no activities, no practice following commands, then they’re not providing a good home for that dog. At our house, we have a large, well-fenced yard. Training is work, and dogs love to work for people.  Our Rotties are working and herding dogs, and they get walked and trained on a daily basis. They were bred to herd sheep and cattle, and to chase anything that would prey on the herd. Just as love equals training, love also equals limits. We keep them separately from our cats. We also know that Rotties and kitties are not “down” with each other and we do not pretend otherwise. Better to be safe than grief stricken.

How do people make good puppies into bad dogs? People buy some breeds, including Rottweilers and pit bulls because they “look bad.” A dog is not a vanity item, nor a decoration like jewelry or furniture. A lot of “bad bite” dogs are owned by people who want them because the dog has “swagger” or because they are kept “for protection.” The owners are busy and they do not train the dogs. The dogs are treated as decorative like the tattoos on their owners’ necks, backs and arms. Without training or exercise these dogs become unpredictable. Their “swagger” turns into “vicious.” They bite out of fear and uncertainty, and they cause injury. The dogs have already become destructive in the house and they are kept outside on chain, or in a small, poorly fenced yard. The surrounding neighborhood is not safe. The dogs get out, they lash out, and they bite people. Out on the street, they grab and kill smaller dogs, or find children and the elderly, often with the same result. Their bites leave scars, draw blood, break bones and they can kill people, dogs and livestock.

Colorado law respects the rights of dog owners to keep their animals for protection. 13-21-124 CRS. However, if the owner knows that the animal has bitten someone, then the owner is liable for their “dangerous propensity” and ensuing injuries. If you or someone you know is injured by a dog bite attack (generally the victim is bitten a number of times), they need Shaun Kaufman. Shaun knows that the law makes it difficult to recover for people injured by dog bites. The injured person will have to overcome legal barricades with respect to insurance coverage, whether the dog was “provoked,” and whether the victim can be paid for their pain and suffering or just for medical expenses. This is why you need a dog bite attorney who knows dogs, who knows the law, and who is more like a Rottweiler than a poodle in the courtroom. Tell your injured friend or relative to call Shaun Kaufman Law, 24/7, at 303-309-0430.