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I was shopping in Green Bay when a dog belonging to another customer bit my daughter. Can the business owner be held liable for injuries caused by a pet that was in his store?

Most stores don’t allow dogs. However, there has been a recent trend for pet stores and other businesses that want to attract pet owners to allow dogs and even cats into stores. While this is convenient for pet owners, it can put other customers at risk of becoming Wisconsin dog bite victims.

If a store allows animals, it is the store owner’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for all patrons. Rules should be posted warning of the presence of pets and asking pet owners to follow safety guidelines and properly restrain their pets at all times.

Dog bites in stores may occur when:

  • A dog is not kept on a leash
  • An aggressive dog is brought into a store
  • The design of the store does not allow enough space for customers to walk past aggressive animals
  • A store owner fails to remove an aggressive animal

In Wisconsin, a dog owner is usually liable for any injuries caused by his dog. If the dog that bit your daughter belongs to the business owner, then the business will be liable for the dog bite. If a customer owns the dog, that customer will be liable for your daughter’s Wisconsin dog bite injuries. However, in this case, the business may also be held partially accountable if it can be shown that the business owner was negligent in providing adequate safety precautions against dog attacks.

To prove that the business owner was negligent, you and your Green Bay dog bite lawyer will have consider the following:

  • What kind of store was it? You would expect dogs to be a danger in a pet store, but not in a grocery store.
  • Did the business owner make it a policy to allow pets in the store?
  • If allowing pets is not a general policy, did the business owner know that the pet was in the store?
  • Did the business owner ask the dog owner to remove his pet from the premises?
  • Was there a reason to believe that the dog was dangerous? Was the dog an aggressive breed or behaving aggressively?
  • Were you in a restricted part of the store? Store owners are usually only liable for injuries that occur in retail areas of the store.

If you or your child has been attacked by another customer’s pet while shopping, you should contact a Green Bay dog bite injury attorney immediately. Your Wisconsin dog bite lawyer will be able to determine whether the store owner was negligent in protecting your safety. He will also help you file a claim against the owner of the dog that caused the injury. To discuss your Wisconsin dog bite claim, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.