There are strict “no pet” policies on parts of the Atlantic City and Ocean City boardwalks. So families, heading out on summer vacation, are looking for friends and family members to dog sit while they’re out of town. If you’re asked, noted New Jersey attorney Mike Mumola, of Kalavruzos, Mumola, and Hartman, says you might want to think twice about saying yes.
“Dog sitting can be a great way to temporarily enjoy the love of a pet, but New Jersey residents need to know that fun with a pet can quickly become a legal problem.”
Under New Jersey law, dog owners and sitters can be held responsible for injuries caused by a dog, even if there’s no biting. A “playful dog” could cause injury by merely jumping on, licking, or tripping an unsuspecting visitor.
“We handle cases every day involving visitors, postal workers, and delivery couriers who are injured by dogs,” says Mumola. “New Jersey law takes this very seriously.”
Letting a dog run on your property without a fence or walking it without a leash can be considered a violation of your duty as a pet owner, keeper, sitter or walker. If this occurs, Mumola says you may be liable — and there’s no guarantee that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your victim’s injuries or protect your assets.
As a service to New Jersey residents, Mumola says his firm is available to discuss your options if you have been injured by a dog, or to answer your questions about your responsibility under New Jersey law as a pet owner. Visit the Kalavruzos, Mumola, and Hartman website at kmhlawyers.com, or telephone Mike Mumola at 609-586-9000.