The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Loose Wolf-Dog in Pennypack Could Catch Owner Liability

There have been quite a few reports about the wolf-dog in Pennypack Park. At first it was thought to be a wolf, but now it seems that the wolf-dog hybrid's owner has come forward to claim the animal as his, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kasey Lyons has told reporters that the wolf-dog had been a gift to his now ex-fiancé, the Inquirer states. Now, Lyons is out with his other dog Tony, searching for Levi the wolf-dog. Lyons was close to apprehending Levi, when a stranger accidentally scared the wolf-dog away.

Was it such a good idea for Lyons to admit ownership of Levi?

Admitting ownership in itself would not be a problem for Lyons, unless the dog is a registered "dangerous" animal. Under Pennsylvania law, if a dog has attacked a person or another domestic animal, it must be registered, which requires posting a $50,000 bond, and properly muzzling and restraining the dog at all times.

Assuming that the wolf-dog was not a registered dangerous dog, Lyons could still find himself with legal difficulties if Levi bit anyone. Pennsylvania makes anyone whose animal severely injures someone liable just for owning the dog. Pennsylvania also makes it legal to kill any dog that is currently attacking a person or domestic animal.

Luckily for Lyons, Levi has not attacked anyone. The wolf-dog also seems rather friendly, although scared of people in this video from WPVI-TV.

However, if Levi is cornered by strangers and they are bitten, Lyons could be in trouble.

Remember to ensure your dog is well trained, especially if it is a wolf-dog that has escaped your control and is living in Pennypack Park.

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