Section 155 of Chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking the section in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following:
If any dog owner negligently permits their dog to cause damage to the property of any person, including their pet, companion animal, or service animal, or to cause injury to any person, then the owner or keeper thereof; or if the owner or keeper be a minor, the parent or guardian of such owner or keeper thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500.
A conviction or findings of sufficient facts on any charge brought under this section shall be prima facie evidence of liability in any action brought in connection with the following:
a. Any damage to any property, whether privately or publicly owned;
b. Any injury, illness, transmission of disease (such as rabies), or death to any person or animal which is reasonably attributable to or caused by a violation of this section;
But no such evidence of civil liability shall be found if such damage shall have been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, is under seven years of age at the time the damage was done, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog.
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