A dog is an extremely loyal companion and a great protector. Some breeds are also very smart, and they can be trained properly so that they can work as police dogs, search-and-rescue canines, or as dogs that aid in rehabilitative processes. Other kinds of dogs are bred for their gentle nature, which make them great family dogs, such as the beagle, boxer, collie and golden retriever. However, even the gentlest and most patient animal could bite, and biting incidents are major issues that could have serious consequences to both the dog and its owner.
When a dog biting accident occurs, it is common for owners to state, “I don’t know what happened. He’s never bitten before.” It is important to realize that though a dog is man’s best friend and even though the creature had been properly trained, certain instances or factors might impel him to bite. If this happens to you, it’s important that you know what to do. Furthermore, since laws vary according to which state you’re in, be sure to check what local regulations say about pets and animal bite accidents.
If your dog bites someone, here are some steps you can take.
1. Perform first aid measures. Tend to the injured person. For minor injuries, cleanse the area with soap and water. Then, place a bandage if needed. In case there is severe bleeding or if the victim loses a limb or body part, which sometimes happens when larger breeds are involved, it’s important to stop the blood flow by making a tourniquet or by applying pressure to the area. Call 911 right away or bring the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.
2. Be as cooperative as you can. Some individuals become quite protective of their pets. To illustrate, instead of helping an injured victim, a dog owner might defend his dog’s actions, which can have a negative impact on his case. If the owner refuses to cooperate with the victim, he can get into more legal trouble since what he says or does can have a huge impact on the legal process that could ensue. Therefore, be as helpful as possible when your pet bites another.
3. Prepare your dog’s documents. Make sure that all the necessary papers pertaining to your dog and its health are within reach. See to it that you have its registration papers and, most especially, its medical records as these can help prove that your canine’s rabies shots and other required vaccinations are up to date. Authorities will also use these documentations to verify that your pet did not spread other infectious diseases to the victim.
4. Report the incident to the authorities. Most states require pet owners to report dog biting incidents. Once an accident is reported, the authorities or the local animal control will assess the situation. They’ll decide about penalties or punishments. It is common, for instance, for animal control to ask an owner to leave his dog with them for a certain number of days. By putting the animal in quarantine, they can better assess its health and check the cause of its aggression, which could be brought on by rabies. Some canine owners are also required to pay fines. In addition, there are rare instances when the authorities can also decide that it’s best for public safety to put a dog to sleep, especially if it has bitten more than once or if it belongs to an aggressive or dangerous breed, such as those mentioned on http://bobcohenlaw.com/ .
5. Adhere to court orders. You should be prepared for the legal repercussions that can result from a dog biting accident. Just in case the court labels your beloved furry friend as an “aggressive dog,” be ready to follow set limitations so that you won’t lose your loyal companion. For instance, the court could decide that, in order to avoid further biting accidents, the animal in question must stay in a kennel or it must be chained at all times, even at home. Sometimes, a dog owner is also required to muzzle his canine, especially when taking it out for walks. Be sure to carefully follow the court’s instructions to avoid another biting accident that could end badly for you and, most especially, for your dog.
Claire Taylor is a freelance writer and a mother who often blogs about issues regarding personal injury and safety. She hopes to spread information that might be of help to others.
- How do I get my dog to stop biting???(dog-gonnit.com)
- Dog Bite Rabies Signs and Symptoms(dog-health-guide.org)