Seeking Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury in Alberta

While dogs certainly can be “man’s best friend,” dog bites are, unfortunately, a common occurrence. Dogs don’t just bite when they are angry but also when they are afraid, startled, or feeling sick. It is estimated that approximately half a million dog bite incidents occur in Canada every year. The group most affected by dog bites are children aged 5-9. 


Information for Albertans

In Alberta, dog bite incidents are dealt with under Alberta’s Dangerous Dog Act, as well as the Occupiers Liability Act. 

Dog bites should always be reported to Alberta’s Animal and Bylaw Services, whether the dog owner is cooperative or not. It’s important to keep track of potentially dangerous animals to ensure that future incidents are avoided and handled properly. A good example of this is the case in Claresholm, Alberta, where an 11-year-old girl was attacked by her piano teacher’s dog. The dog had a history of being aggressive toward children and had bitten multiple kids before. Due to this, the owner made the decision to have the dog euthanized. 


In other cases where owners behaved responsibly, and the dog in question does not have a history of aggression, important legal requirements might not be met to justify compensation. This was the tragic case of Betty Ann Williams. The senior was walking in an alley in Calgary when she was mauled to death by three dogs. A thorough investigation resulted in the owners not being charged, as it was found that they were not neglectful in the handling of their dogs. 

Thankfully, most dog owners are responsible individuals who willingly cooperate to ensure the dog bite victim is treated fairly. However, some are not so friendly and refuse to cooperate. If this is the case, it is wise to contact a lawyer to help you sort out the situation. 

What To Do if You’ve Been Bitten

If you’ve been bitten, even if it was on the dog owner’s property, you may have a claim. Here are the first steps you’ll want to take:

  • Write down the owner’s name and contact information.
  • Describe the dog.
  • Record where the incident happened (take pictures if possible).
  • If you  have visible injuries, take pictures.
  • Prove the owner was aware of the dog’s problematic behaviour and did not take. necessary steps to control the animal (even if this is not the case, you might still have a claim if leash laws were disobeyed).
  • Prove that you did nothing to cause the attack.

Once you have at least the above information (the more you can document, the better), contact a personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim and maximize your chances of compensation. 


If you’re unsure whether you have a claim or not, connect with our team at McGuiness Law. We can help you sort out legal requirements and paperwork and ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. 

We care deeply about our clients and are passionate about ensuring they receive the maximum compensation possible. We’re happy to offer a free consultation! Call us to see how we can help without feeling obligated to continue with our services. 

We can be reached toll-free at 1-833-585-4145 or via the contact form on our website.