Georgia’s “Dog Bite Statute” O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7

Posted by Hunter Delashmit | Jul 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

Under Georgia law, a person who owns/keeps a vicious or dangerous animal who, by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured. Of note, Georgia law does not presume that dogs are vicious or dangerous but presumes that dogs, regardless of breed, are “of a harmless species.” Steagald v. Eason, 300 Ga. 717 (2017).

There are two avenues to recovery under this Code section. A plaintiff must either show:

Knowledge of Propensity

  1. the animal had vicious propensities;
  2. the owner/keeper knew (or should have known) of the animal's propensities; and
  3. the owner/keeper either carelessly managed the animal or allowed the animal to go at liberty.

Violation of Leash Ordinance

  1. the owner/keeper of the animal was required to keep the animal at heel or on a leash by an ordinance;
  2. failed to do so; and
  3. said failure was by way of careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty. Durham v. Mooney, 234 Ga. App. 772 (1998).

If you or someone you know have been injured by an animal owned and/or managed by another, reach out to The Delashmit Firm.

About the Author

Hunter Delashmit

Hunter Delashmit is a seasoned trial attorney who lives in Cartersville, Georgia with his wife and their pit-husky mix, Dobby. After graduating from The University of Tennessee College of Law, Hunter has gained extensive experience through litigating cases in administrative, state, and federal co...

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