Court Finds A Four Pound Dachshund Puppy is not Dangerous Per Se

April 29th, 2011

Chana, my precious Dachshund

I have a weakness for puppies, dachshunds in particular (see my precious Chana here and here). They are one of the friendliest breeds ever. I am glad to report that the Mississippi Court of Appeals, in the case of Penny Pinchers v. Outlaw, agrees with me. NMissCommentor has the story here:

The manager of the local Penny Pinchers store took her puppy Sophie to work.  Sophie was a dachshund that weighed in at four pounds one ounce and was all of four months old [JB: AWWWWW!]

To protect the puppy from customers, there was a little peg board barrier set up.

The plaintiff, a Mrs. Outlaw, apparently possessed of both a lifelong terror of wiener dogs (well, of dogs), and hip problems, heard frantic yapping behind her.

She fled in terror and found herself pinned against the freezer section when the manager plucked up the puppy and asked Mrs. Outlaw if she was ok.  At this point, Outlaw had not even seen the dog, but only heard it bark.

Here is the Court’s analysis:

Here, the dispute is whether the presence of the dog in the store created a dangerous condition. Outlaw, who claims that Sophie barked at and chased her, argues that Sophie was a dangerous condition. Penny Pinchers disagrees and says it had no reason to believe that Sophie’s presence in the store created any danger. Because Sophie had never exhibited any dangerous propensities, Penny Pinchers claims that it could not and should not have known of any dangerous condition.

While this is not a traditional “dog-bite” case, we find it instructive that the supreme court has held that dogs are not dangerous per se.

H/T Overlawyered