Indiana State Law states, when a dog bites, the owner is responsible. Even if the dog is not on the owner’s property at the time of the bite and even if the dog owner is unaware, he is still responsible.
Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control says “the responsibility ultimately falls on the owner, regardless of what the dog did why he did while off his property at the time of a bite.”
That is what happened to a six-year-old boy. He got home from school to find his neighbor’s two Rottweilers in his yard after they had broke free from the barn they were kept.
The dog attacked the boys face, leaving him with many stitches. The dog also bit the boy’s sister as she tried to get the dog off her brother.
The Steuben County Sheriff told NewsChannel 15 that the county dog ordinance wasn’t broken. It says dogs have to be restrained, but Sheriff Richard Lewis said the dogs were restrained in the barn, they just escaped. The Steuben County prosecutor reviewed the case and decided there were no charges to be filed.
Lewis disagrees. She says in the very least, the dogs owner should face a Class C infraction. State law reads, “It is a Class C infraction for an owner to allow his dog to stray beyond his premises.”
Lewis said even if the owner didn’t know the dogs got out of the barn, he is still held accountable for what the dog does.