Dogs, though we might think differently, are no better than people in most situations and its seems unfair to expect more from them than we expect from ourselves. Defendant was walking her dog in Central Park, apparently off-leash. Plaintiff, also walking in Central Park, but sans animal, saw defendant’s dog with its hind paw caught in a fence. Bending down, our modern day Androcles sought to free the dog from the fence. However, instead of thanks, the dog acted, well, like a dog, and bit or scratched plaintiff on the face. So much for Aesop.
The dog, however, had no vicious propensities. The animal even had the AKC’s “Good Citizen” certification, which demonstrated that the dog was cooperative without a history of attacking or biting humans, an imprimatur which, we must admit, is new to us. The best that plaintiff could muster was that a neighbor reported that defendant’s dog had “scuffled” with and growled at the neighbor’s dogs (after being bitten by one,) but had to admit that defendant’s dog had never been aggressive to the neighbor at all. You know the drill. Growling at other dogs doesn’t count and dismissal is granted.Gervais v. Laino, 2013 NY Slip Op 08819 (2d Dep’t 12/31/13).