In Australia, citizens have duties that should be obeyed as stated in the laws. Sometimes these duties are simple duties to keep the public in order and some other times, these duties are serious and include harsh penalties once breached. Duties start at home. A parent’s primary responsibility is to take care of their children. All around the world, there are heavy fines and penalties for child maltreatment that can even result in imprisonment. Similar strict rules apply in daily life. The duty of care is a strict and important duty owed to the visitors of your business place and home, to others in traffic, to your employers, to your patients if you are practising a medical profession and to your neighbours. Please note that the duty of care has a power of sanction which means, breaching this legal obligation can result in a court process.
The duty of care and domestic animals
By adopting or buying an animal to your property, you accept the liability as these adorable pets can be quite deadly if not trained correctly. There are countless occasions in which the pet owner was sued by their neighbours. The reason behind this is animal attacks. To be honest, it is a valid reason as an average hound’s, shepherd’s and mastiff’s capacity to permanently maim the target is beyond imagination. If you have an animal in your house, make sure the independency of the animal is restricted. If not, due to the main instinct of the animal, anyone can be set as a target and be attacked. This is a common thing that dogs do to guard their territories. Please do not confuse this territory with your property’s territory. Animals are wild and even the strictest training will only reduce their hunter motives. For this reason, the animal will keep expending their territories. On the other hand, if someone provokes your animal while inside your property –which is your territory-, this may not be a valid reason to sue your neighbour. As the owner, other than the welfare of the animal, your legal obligation is to make sure the animal is not dangerous. Although this is a very broad explanation, the duty is simple. Hesitate anything that can be harmful to others. Make sure the animal cannot escape the property, cannot harm others in any way other than protective measures and isn’t posing a threat against others.
You can be sued for your animal’s adverse actions
There are many reasons why a pet owner can be sued. This is something that wouldn’t be favourable as we adopt these animals to be our companions and grow strong bonds. However, there are situations when you can be sued for your animal’s actions. The first and the most obvious one is the lethal animal attacks. With a quick research, you can encounter countless news about how an unguarded domestic animal kills another person. Under the laws, this is a breach of duty as the animal’s responsibility belongs to you and your negligence is the cause of a fatality. The exact same judgement process applies if your pet harms people. Even if the attack does not end up in fatality, the dog owner can be sued. After the judgement process, you might be demanded to pay for the loss of the victim. Please note, the amount of compensation can easily reach six-figure numbers. On the other hand, if the animal is provoked, the owner of the animal may not be liable for the animal’s behaviour. The same applies to dog attacks in personal properties. If your dog stops a robbery, you can be certain that you will not be sued.