NO SECOND CHANCES…KEEP ‘EM SAFE
§ 287.351. Person bitten by dog; liability of owner.
If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.
You are home in your Southfield apartment watching your 8 year old daughter and her 8 year old friend playing “tug-of-war” with your Chihuahua. Like all little girls, they are giggling and screeching as they play. Then, in a heartbeat, and without warning, the friend is bitten badly on the lip and chin. You take her to the hospital and find out that she needs emergency surgery to repair her face. Her parents arrive, and between your tears and theirs, you learn that the father recently lost his job and doesn’t have health insurance. And, sadly, you never purchased apartment insurance.
Guess what? Your dog is removed from your home, impounded, and quarantined at the animal shelter. Now, more bad news. You are criminally charged with a misdemeanor…”Harboring a Vicious Dog”, (Ord. No. 1095, § 1, 5-10-83; Ord. No. 1383, § 1, 9-18-95; Ord. No. 1575 , § 1, 5-2-10).
The City of Southfield, like Berkley, Royal Oak, Detroit, and most other Cities, has a dog ordinance that criminalizes the owners of dogs that bite. Even if they’ve never bitten before.
In a split second, your financial life is over. Your comfortable $50,000.00 savings account is going to be wiped out. The little girl’s medical bills are $19,000.00, your criminal attorney requires $1,500.00, and her parents are threatening to sue you for their little girl’s pain, suffering and disfigurement.
This nightmare repeats itself over and over again throughout the world. Apartment dwellers, unlike homeowners, far too often don’t purchase renter’s insurance coverage. They simply don’t think about it. Don’t let this happen to you.