Six-year-old Lucas Nicolas did not know that his fear of dogs would be realized while riding his bicycle nearby his family at a park. While riding, a 6-month-old puppy aggressively jumped on Lucas, knocking him off of his bike and biting him in the face, collarbone, and hand. Seeing the attack, the police seized the dog and arrested the owner. Luca’s mom, Rusty Putt, states that the dog did not appear aggressive and that she wholeheartedly blames the owner, although she states that the owner also was shocked by the attack. The owner has been freed and the dog remains in a shelter (BBC News, Boy Need Stitches After Basingstoke Park Dog Attack, August 16, 2019). It would be interesting to find out whether the dog owner was witness to, or, notified of her dog attacking others prior to this occurrence. Knowing this would alter the harshness of the penalty that the dog owner will encounter. According to Wis. Stat §174.02, if the dog owner is without notice of the dog’s aggressive behavior, “the owner of the dog is liable for the full amount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injury to a person, domestic animal or property”; however, if the dog owner has been warned in some way about his or her dogs aggressive behavior, “the owner of the dog is liable for two times the full amount of damages caused by the dog biting a person with sufficient force to break the skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement (Wisconsin State Legislature, Wisconsin Legislature, December 14, 2019). Either way, the dog owner is liable for the damage the dog has caused and is informed of her dog’s behavior. There is no turning back. Do the damages that the dog owner will have to pay include the fear that the little boy may continuously have when riding his bike, or, encountering another dog?
BBC News, Boy Need Stitches After Basingstoke Park Dog Attack, August 16, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-49357747?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/c9q9301541xt/dog-attacks&link_location=live-reporting-story
Wisconsin State Legislature, Wisconsin Legislature, December 14, 2019,