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January 19, 2010

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Owner must pay after dog bites boy, 2

A DOG owner has been ordered to pay 17,902 yuan (US$2,621) compensation to a two-year-old boy who was bitten on the face, Minhang District People's Court said yesterday.

The boy, Qiang, lived with his parents in a house rented from a woman surnamed Zhai in Huacao Village of Minhang District. On July 24, 2009, Qiang's mother heard Zhai's cries in courtyard while she was cooking. She rushed out to see Zhai carrying the boy, whose face was bleeding. Her dog was nearby, tethered by an iron chain. Zhai said the boy had fallen and injured his face.

Qiang was in hospital for four days. The doctor said his injury was a dog bite.

The boy's parents sued Zhai, seeking 50,000 yuan for mental anguish and expenses.

They said they had to suffer the fear of rabies for a long time because Zhai's dog wasn't licensed. They also said the boy would suffer a lot because of his disfigured face.

Zhai denied at the hearing that her dog had bitten the boy. She said the place where the boy tumbled was far from where the dog was. It was impossible for the dog to have bitten the boy because it was tied up, unless the boy had gone over to play with the dog.

She said when she rushed out after hearing the boy's cries, she saw him bending over on the ground with his face bleeding.

The court accepted the doctor's conclusion and said, as the dog's owner, Zhai should bear responsibility.

She had presented no evidence that the boy had tried to play with the dog.

The boy's parents were also to blame, the court said, because they should have prevented the boy getting close to the dog.

But the court ruled Zhai should bear the major responsibility and pay 17,902 yuan compensation, including the sum of 8,000 yuan for their mental anguish.


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