(a) As used in this section:

Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 22-357

  • Animal: means any brute creature, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds and reptiles. See Connecticut General Statutes 22-327
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Keeper: means any person, other than the owner, harboring or having in his possession any dog. See Connecticut General Statutes 22-327
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.

(1) “Law enforcement officer” means: Each officer, employee or other person otherwise paid by or acting as an agent of (A) the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; (B) the Office of the State Capitol Police; (C) a municipal police department; and (D) the Department of Correction;

(2) “Property” includes, but is not limited to, a companion animal, as defined in section 22-351a; and

(3) “The amount of such damage”, with respect to a companion animal, includes expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the companion animal, including all training expenses for a guide dog owned by a blind person or an assistance dog owned by a deaf or mobility impaired person and burial expenses for the companion animal.

(b) If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or, if the owner or keeper is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for the amount of such damage, except when such damage has 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. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, was under seven years of age at the time such damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action. In an action under this section against a household member of a law enforcement officer to whom has been assigned a dog owned by a law enforcement agency of the state, any political subdivision of the state or the federal government for damage done by such dog, it shall be presumed that such household member is not a keeper of such dog and the burden of proof shall be upon the plaintiff to establish that such household member was a keeper of such dog and had exclusive control of such dog at the time such damage was sustained.