Skip to main content

Colorado Revised Statutes Title 13. Courts and Court Procedure § 13-21-124. Civil actions against dog owners

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Bodily injury” means any physical injury that results in severe bruising, muscle tears, or skin lacerations requiring professional medical treatment or any physical injury that requires corrective or cosmetic surgery.

(b) “Dog” means any domesticated animal related to the fox, wolf, coyote, or jackal.

(c) “Dog owner” means a person, firm, corporation, or organization owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, having financial or property interest in, or having control or custody of, a dog.

(d) “Serious bodily injury” has the same meaning as set forth in section 18-1-901(3)(p), C.R.S .

(2) A person or a personal representative of a person who suffers serious bodily injury or death from being bitten by a dog while lawfully on public or private property shall be entitled to bring a civil action to recover economic damages against the dog owner regardless of the viciousness or dangerous propensities of the dog or the dog owner's knowledge or lack of knowledge of the dog's viciousness or dangerous propensities.

(3) In any case described in subsection (2) of this section in which it is alleged and proved that the dog owner had knowledge or notice of the dog's viciousness or dangerous propensities, the court, upon a motion made by the victim or the personal representative of the victim, may enter an order that the dog be euthanized by a licensed veterinarian or licensed shelter at the expense of the dog owner.

(4) For purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be lawfully on public or private property if he or she is in the performance of a duty imposed upon him or her by local, state, or federal laws or regulations or if he or she is on property upon express or implied invitation of the owner of the property or is on his or her own property.

(5) A dog owner shall not be liable to a person who suffers bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or death from being bitten by the dog:

(a) While the person is unlawfully on public or private property;

(b) While the person is on property of the dog owner and the property is clearly and conspicuously marked with one or more posted signs stating “no trespassing” or “beware of dog”;

(c) While the dog is being used by a peace officer or military personnel in the performance of peace officer or military personnel duties;

(d) As a result of the person knowingly provoking the dog;

(e) If the person is a veterinary health care worker, dog groomer, humane agency staff person, professional dog handler, trainer, or dog show judge acting in the performance of his or her respective duties;  or

(f) While the dog is working as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm or ranch dog, or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of the dog's owner.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:

(a) Affect any other cause of action predicated on other negligence, intentional tort, outrageous conduct, or other theories;

(b) Affect the provisions of any other criminal or civil statute governing the regulation of dogs;  or

(c) Abrogate any provision of the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”, article 10 of title 24, C.R.S.

Cite this article: - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 13. Courts and Court Procedure § 13-21-124. Civil actions against dog owners - last updated January 01, 2019 |

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard