I tightened my helmet, secured my kneepads, and snapped my buckles into place. I was nine and it was rollerblade time. I always had a great time cruising the mean sidewalks of suburbia in my neon rollerblades, but this day was exceptionally great. I even landed a jump. Then it happened. A furry little monster blindsided me from behind, and I went down. Long story short, my rollerblades were viciously and brutally attacked by the neighbor’s three-pound Pomeranian, Mr. Fluffy.
As a landlord, I was stunned to hear news last week of an opinion issued by the Kentucky Supreme Court, which stated that landlords could be held liable if their tenants’ dog bites someone. Now, instead of simply weighing the usual wear-and-tear costs associated with allowing dogs in rental units, landlords will need to determine whether renting to dog owners could put their very livelihood at stake. Jeffrey Greenberger, attorney for the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association, responded to the opinion by calling it “scary.” He added he “knows of no other case where the landlord is treated as though he owns the tenant's pet.”
My family has had a German Shepherd for almost 12 years now. She’s a wonderful dog. Her name is Bella (no, she isn’t named after the girl from Twilight), and she is a sweetheart. German Shepherds have the uncanny ability to look brilliant. Like, brilliant to the level of being able to buy groceries and defuse bombs upon command. Bella is the same way. Her ears stand erect, her posture is vigilant, and her overall demeanor commands respect and epitomizes courage. At least, that’s what she looks like. As her family, we know that Bella is afraid of cats, poodles, most birds, fireworks, thunder, the sound the heater makes as it’s turning on, and anyone going more than thirty seconds without petting her. Basically, she’s a big sissy.