A dog bite occurs every 75 seconds in the US. Each year, according to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (“AHRQ”), 1,000 Americans require emergency treatment due to a serious dog bite injury. In 2016, there were 31 dog bite fatalities in the Unites States. So far in 2017 there have already been 10 deaths related to dog bites, the youngest victim was only 3-weeks old! Newborns attacked by dogs is not a rare occurrence. In 2016, children 3 to 6 days old who were bitten by dogs accounted for 31% of all deaths in children.
In Massachusetts the law governing dog bites states that an owner or keeper of a dog is liable for the damage caused by their dog to the individual or property. M.G.L. ch. 140 §155.
If any dog shall do any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper … shall be liable for such damage, unless such damage shall have been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog.