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negligent handling

The owner of a dog or other animal may be liable for negligence in handling the dog when the dog causes personal injury or property damage. Sometimes a plaintiff must show that the owner had knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities in order for the dog's owner to be liable for negligent handling.

In Texas, the liability of a dog owner for injuries or damages caused by their dog is generally based on the 'one bite rule.' This means that the owner may not be held liable for the first bite or attack by their dog unless they knew or should have known of the dog's dangerous propensities. This is often referred to as having 'prior knowledge' or 'scienter.' If the owner was aware that the dog had been aggressive or had bitten someone in the past, they could be held liable for negligence. Additionally, if an owner is negligent in handling or restraining the dog, and this negligence leads to injury or damage, they can be held liable regardless of whether they had prior knowledge of the dog's viciousness. Texas does not have a statewide dog bite statute, so these cases are typically governed by case law and local ordinances that may impose stricter liability on dog owners.

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