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Animals-Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases dealing with animals reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of animals and the related topic of personal injury.   For more information on animal issues see the page on Wikipedia.



See Va. Code § 3.2.

See Va. Code § 55-306 stating if any domesticated livestock animals enters onto any property enclosed by lawful fence, then owner of animals shall be liable for actual damages.


2006 Kondaurov v. Kerdasha, 271 Va. 646, 629 S.E.2d 181.

Personal injury action arising out of motor vehicle accident involving Plaintiff and her dog. Plaintiff is barred from recovering damages for emotional distress arising from her concerns about her dog.Animals are property.

2001 Stout v. Bartholomew, 261 Va. 547, 544 S.E.2d 653.

Motorcyclist injured when dog attacked her. She brought negligence action against dog’s caretakers and negligence and breach of warranty claim against invisible-fence company and fence manufacturer. Supreme court held that county code provision requiring animals to be kept secured by leash or lead and under control of owner or within the real property limits of owner was not applicable and therefore, did not supply standard of care as to caretakers of dog. Judgment against caretaker set aside. When dog escapes from pet containment system designed to keep dog within owner’s property limits, owner has not violated county code provisions requiring that dog be kept secured by leash and under control of owner. This action by owner and caretaker was reasonable and caretaker did not fail to exercise ordinary care. Jury returned verdict against plaintiff on her negligence claim against the invisible-fence company.

1992 Parham v. Albert, 244 Va. 73, 418 S.E.2d 866.

Dog escaped from fenced yard and bit plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged defective latch on gate. Evidence showed that gate opened due to children kicking it open. Uncontradicted evidence that defective latch made gate more difficult to open. No evidence to support conclusion that defective latch contributed to the escape of animal.

1984 Page v. Arnold, 227 Va. 74, 314 S.E.2d 57.

Pony allegedly jumped fence and was struck by automobile. There was no evidence as to exactly how pony got out of fenced-in area, and, as such, court held that plaintiff had failed to meet his burden of proof.

1977 Lyons v. Grether, 218 Va. 630, 239 S.E.2d 103.

Plaintiff blind person came to defendant’s medical office for treatment. She brought her seeing eye dog. She was evicted by defendant because he did not allow animals in his office. Because of resulting delay in medical care, plaintiff alleged malpractice on part of defendant causing aggravation of her condition.

1974 Hale v. Fawcett, 214 Va. 583, 202 S.E.2d 923.

Defendant’s hogs and cattle trespassed onto plaintiff’s land. Plaintiff unable to establish what damages caused by negligence of defendant’s animals.

1967 Butler v. Frieden, 208 Va. 352, 158 S.E.2d 121.

Local leash law was held to establish standard of ordinary care. Violation of law constitutes negligence per se. Under this ordinance, dog is no longer entitled to one free bite.

1965 Bradshaw v. Minter, 206 Va. 450, 143 S.E.2d 827.

Plaintiff was social guest (licensee) who was thrown by horse of defendant. Jury question of reasonable care presented.

1957 Perlin v. Chappell, 198 Va. 861, 96 S.E.2d 805.

Owner or keeper of domestic animal is bound to take notice of general propensities of that class of animal. To establish sufficiency of notice, it is not necessary that it be notice of mischief actually committed. It is propensity to commit mischief that constitutes danger.

1943 Willeroy v. Commonwealth, 181 Va. 779, 27 S.E.2d 211.

Owner of domestic animal that is placed in jeopardy by attack of dog has right to kill dog to protect property. Dog must be presently attacking or threatening animal.

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Animals-Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Lawyer

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