New York's "one bite" pet rule

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.(WKBW) - Dog attack laws can vary depending on what county and city you live in. New York has a "one bite" rule. It gives dogs and owners a second chance, based on if the pet has an aggressive history.

"Your dog can either bite a person once without liability or display a vicious propensity," 7 Eyewitness News Legal Expert, Florina Altshiler said.

But two strikes and you're out. Meaning dog owners would become fully responsible at the second attack.

"You have to pay the medical bills, loss earnings, pain, and suffering," Altshiler said.

It was just two days ago when two rottweilers attacked 7-year-old Kaden Mitchell. The vicious attack left the boy in a medically induced coma at Women & Children's Hospital. The dogs owned by a relative latched on to him while he was running in the backyard of a home in the 200 block of 70th Street in Niagara Falls.

At first, the owner asked the Niagara County SPCA to euthanize the dogs, soon after the incident. The shelter refused.

"In order to have them euthanized we have to have permission from the health department. The reason for that is the health department have to actually send them out for testing. There is a cost associated with that, that the health department will be responsible for picking up," Amy Lewis, Niagara County SPCA said.

Late Thursday the owner did sign over both dogs to the SPCA to be put down. She tells 7 Eyewitness News the attack was an accident she regrets. 

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