The law in this area is regulated by the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA) . Under the Act, the owner or person into whose possession a dog has been delivered is responsible for any injury, loss or damage caused by his or her dog [s 66]. An attack by the dog is not necessarily required. The injury, loss or damage could be caused by the dog in any way [see Elliott & Anor v Andrew SADC 31]. A victim only has to show that there has been damage and that this was caused by the dog. It is not necessary to show that the person who is responsible for the dog was negligent or knew that the dog was vicious or dangerous. However, where:
the person who is responsible for the dog may then be only partially liable or not at all.
Most household insurance policies provide public liability cover for injuries caused by dogs on the owner's property. All dog owners should make sure that they have this type of insurance. It is also possible to buy legal liability insurance which protects dog owners no matter where the injury occurs.