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Liability Release

Acknowledgement of Owning a Potentially Dangerous Dog

The behavior exhibited by your dog while he or she was at the

(fill in location name above)

and/or described by you at home, requires that doctors at this facility identify your pet as a potentially dangerous liability toward humans and/or other animals. 

In today's litigious society, veterinary associations have recommended that veterinary practice owners attempt to protect themselves, and you, from potential injury and/or liability by notifying you in writing of the possibility that your dog could engage in serious attacks on people or animals.

Your signature also acknowledges that you understand that in handling your pet, staff at this hospital may have to alter the usual procedures to protect your safety and that of hospital staff or other animals.  Alterations in procedures may include omitting examination approaches that elicit aggressive behavior; muzzling or otherwise restraining your pet by more aggressive means; or using chemical restraint when necessary in order to provide adequate safeguards.  These precautions may prolong procedure times, increase your costs, and/or result in discharging your pet from the hospital earlier than might otherwise be advisable, and/or force staff to use or alter procedures in ways that might increase certain risks of injury to your pet.  Understanding these issues and the problems associated with your pet's aggressive behavior, you accept these risks and, in the absence of negligence, agree to hold this practice not liable for any acts related to its care.

Most serious injuries and/or deaths from attacks by dogs occur because of aggressive behavior or from dogs reacting out of fear.  Owners may not recognize either of these as deadly, especially when a dog reacts in an abnormally aggressive manner under threatening conditions.  We urge extreme caution around children, strangers, other animals and even yourselves if your dog perceives that he or she is threatened.  We further urge you to seek professional consultation and training by someone prepared to work with overly aggressive or timid dogs in hopes that these dangerous characteristics can be modified or at least minimized.

I am aware of the potential seriousness of my dog's behavior and acknowledge that a staff person at this practice has forewarned me of such.  A behavior consult as been offered.

Signature of Owner or Agent                                                             Date                

Signature of Witness                                                                          Date                

[1] Adapted from Legal Consent Forms for Veterinary Practices, James F. Wilson, DVM, JD

...::::::: Copyright 2000-2004 Rolan Tripp, DVM :::::::...