EVERY dog has its day, but Chung Koon-lin's pet became the first to do so in a Hong Kong court. A District Court judge passed judgment yesterday in the territory's first known dog bite damages court case. On August 31 last year, Chan Kai-fung was carrying her groceries home in Fairview Park, New Territories, when she passed Chung Koon-lin, who was walking her dog on a leash. The animal leapt at Ms Chan, sinking its teeth into her arm. She had to undergo minor surgery and was left with a scarred elbow. Yesterday, Judge Kwan ordered Ms Chung to pay Ms Chan $24,150 damages for failing to keep her dog under control. Ms Chung had testified earlier that the dog was 'just being friendly', and had a habit of 'pouncing on people' and licking them. She said it did not occur to her to warn the victim and implied that Ms Chan was asking for trouble when she recoiled from the canine. But Judge Kwan said Ms Chung was barking up the wrong tree. She said it was 'unreasonable' for Ms Chung to try to shift the blame from her pet on to Ms Chan. The judge noted that both women's testimony, 'while basically truthful', had been tainted. 'Unfortunately both had a tendency to allow their emotions to affect their perception.' The judge concluded: 'There was a duty cast upon the defendant to ensure her dog did not pounce upon people who happen to be using the road. She failed in that duty.' The absence of similar cases in Hong Kong had forced the judge to look to England for precedents. 'Cultural differences, local conditions and standards of living may differ, but surely the pain and suffering of someone in Hong Kong who is bitten by a dog can be . . . regarded as comparable to the pain and suffering of a person suffering the same fate in England,' the judge said.