Dog Laws In Arkansas

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In Arkansas, cities and towns are authorized to promulgate local ordinances regarding the ownership and control of dogs.

In some cities and towns in Arkansas, the owner of a dog that is known to be dangerous from past history will be found liable for damages caused by such dog without regard to the owner’s negligence or fault. A dog’s propensity to injure may result from playfulness as well as viciousness.

Other cities and towns may hold a dog owner liable for damages without regard to negligence, or the dog owner’s knowledge of dangerousness.

Still other Arkansas cities and towns allow a person injured by a dog not known to be dangerous, to recover damages if they can prove that the owner was negligent in the handling of their dog. If the owner of a dog violates a local ordinance that is intended to prevent harm from dogs, such as a leash law, the violation of the ordinance can generally be presented as evidence of negligence.

The types of damages that a person who is injured by a dog in Arkansas may recover include actual costs, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage and other expenses. An injured person may also recover damages for pain and suffering, depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and other impacts on one’s quality of life.

Damages may be reduced, however, by the percentage of an injured person’s comparative negligence for causing the injury. If an injured person is 50% or more responsible for causing the injury, such as by tormenting or teasing a dog, recovery will be barred.


In Arkansas, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of injury. This means you must file a lawsuit against the owner/keeper of the dog within that time, or you will be forever time barred from pursuing a case.

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The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed through the use of this website.  Laws relating to dog injuries can, and do, change.  To learn your legal rights, contact The Snow Law Firm, or contact a licensed and experienced attorney in your state.


In most states, when a minor is bitten or injured by a dog, the statute of limitation period does not begin to run until the minor reaches the age of 18.  Thus, for example, if an 11-year-old child is bitten or injured by a dog in a state that has a 3 year statute of limitation period within which to file a lawsuit, they will have three years from the date they turn 18 years of age, and would thus have to file a lawsuit before they turn 21 years of age.  In most instances, however, it is recommended that a parent or guardian bring a claim for a dog bite or injury claim on behalf of a minor child before waiting for the injured child to turn 18.


Some states limit the type of damages that a person bitten or injured by a dog can recover.  In most states, however, a person who is bitten or injured by a dog can recover damages that include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, physical pain and mental suffering, scarring, permanency of injury, periods of total and/or partial disability and loss of spousal consortium.