Legal Question in Personal Injury in Ohio

State of Ohio

If a person/ burglar breaks into a house can a dog attack them (if the owner is not at home vs. owner at home)? Also, can a dog protect the owner in the owner's home during a break-in if owner is threatened? What are my rights? (My dogs are not trained to attack-but even if they were)

Asked on 7/10/10, 2:19 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Ryan Fisher Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co. LPA

There is no liability for injuries caused by a dog if in fact the victim is a trespasser. Neighborhood kids, mailmen etc are not considered trespassers but a person who breaks into your home is clearly a trespasser. I do not believe there is a difference whether any residents are in the home or not. The victim is a trespasser nonetheless.

Read more
Answered on 7/11/10, 8:17 pm
David Michael Benson Benson Law Firm

Although Ohio incorporates the Castle Doctrine, there is no permissible use of deadly force to protect property. So the answer may be different depending on whether someone is home, the nature of the trespass, whether the dog is a "dangerous" or "vicious" breed, and if there are no warning signs or locked gates. Think of a situation where a child trespasser wanders onto the property and sticks a hand through an open or broken window or gets into the house through an unlocked door.

Read more
Answered on 7/12/10, 9:59 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Personal Injury Law and Tort Law questions and answers in Ohio