Respondents Lawrence E. Delzer and Edward D. Bash were charged by information with violating RCW 16.08.100(3), which provides that the owner of a dog which aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of a human being is guilty of a class C felony. The trial court concluded that the statute sets forth a strict liability offense but that a defendant may assert as an affirmative defense that he or she neither knew nor should have known that the dog was a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog. We granted discretionary review and reverse, holding that the statute does not define a strict liability crime, but instead requires that the dog's owner either knew or should have known that the dog was a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog.
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