Have you heard of the "Yellow Dog Project"? It's an effort to raise awareness about anxious dogs and could help to prevent injuries.
If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to its collar or leash, that's a sign the owner is taking part in the Yellow Dog Project. Canine afficionados are advised to proceed with caution around so-called "Yellow Dogs."
Although wearing a yellow ribbon is a useful tool to help avoid any accidents or attacks, simply participating in the Yellow Dog Project doesn't relieve owners from legal liability.
What's a 'Yellow Dog'?
The Yellow Dog Project seeks to educate humans about dogs who need more space and how to appropriately make contact with them. With hordes of dog lovers out there, many people rush to pet or cuddle every dog they see without considering the dog's needs.
When dogs wear a yellow ribbon, it signals to children and adults that they should approach with caution. However, the yellow ribbon doesn't necessarily indicate that the dog is vicious. It could simply mean that the dog is under medical care, new with the handler, training to be a guide dog, or in foster care, according to The I Love Dogs Site.
However, the Yellow Dog Project emphasizes that putting a yellow ribbon on your dog won't excuse you from properly training it, nor will it waive your legal responsibilities.
Dog Bite Liability
Even with a yellow ribbon prominently displayed on your dog's leash or collar, it's important to know your state's laws on dog bites and attacks.
In some states, strict liability is imposed upon the owner in the event of a bite or attack. That means that an owner is liable for the dog's bite, even if the owner did everything he could to protect others from the pup. For examle, even if an owner had no idea that his dog was dangerous, he would still be liable for injuries inflicted by his dog under strict liability laws.
In other states, the law only holds owners responsible for dog bites if the owner knew that the dog was dangerous or if it had dangerous propensities. Factors like the breed and size of the animal, whether it's trained, its past history of snapping or biting, and previous complaints about the dog can all be relevant in evaulating the dog's dangerousness.
So while the Yellow Dog Project may prevent injuries by reminding people to cautiously approach easily excitable canines, it won't prevent owners from avoiding legal consequences if their dog harms someone.
Even with proper warnings, dog bites are common occurrences. If you're facing legal action because your pooch bit someone, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.