Dog attacks are a community concern that inflicts both physical and emotional trauma to its victims. Such a health problem should be treated as seriously as possible since people can get traumatized after an attack. While dogs offer undeniable companionship to their owners, we can’t say the same for people outside their households. Without proper training and their owner’s negligence, they can end up biting innocent people and cause extensive damages and trauma to the victims.
Dog attacks and their cost to the community
One cannot accurately measure the extent of damages dog attacks can have in a community. But if there is one thing for sure, this makes people afraid to go out in the streets. Parents may fear allowing their kids to play, knowing there is a growing problem of dogs attacking people out of nowhere.
Dog bite injuries can be serious, deadly even. Even if a dog is fully immunized and recently got their anti-rabies shots, their bite can cause extensive injuries and making them suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally. This can cause tension between neighbors and can inevitably impact how non-pet owners view dogs.
Lawsuits related to dog bites
If you own the dog at the time of his attack, then you can be legally held liable for the damages your pet incurred. You may have accidentally left your dog unattended, which led to him wandering the streets alone and biting someone. You may even face a lawsuit for your carelessness in controlling your dog’s behaviors.
Some states follow the one-bite rule. This means if this is the first time your dog has bitten someone, then you are not held liable for these actions. But once he already has a history of biting and you fail to stop such an incident from happening again, you are now held responsible for his actions.
A victim may acquire the services of a personal injury (PI) attorney to file a lawsuit and claim for compensation. They may ask for compensation to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, and even for the permanent scarring or disfigurement caused by your pooch.
Helping make the community safer against dog attacks
There are many ways we can help make communities a safer place where dogs and their owners can live in harmony with other people. For one, rules should be set in a place where pet dogs should never be allowed to roam in the streets. Owners should take responsibility by keeping their pets on a leash and never leave them unattended while outside.
All new pet dogs should be registered and microchipped. This way, their owners can easily find their lost dogs. This will also make it easier for officials and vets to find who is to be held liable if a pet dog bites or attacks someone.
Dog owners should be responsible enough to train their dogs on how to behave in public. Obedience training is crucial in teaching dogs basic commands. When dog owners can easily control their dogs even outside their homes, their dogs are less likely to bite or hurt someone.
It also helps if dog owners train their dogs how to socialize with other pets and people. This way, they won’t treat everyone as a threat. They will also find it easier to behave and not simply jump on everyone they see on the road.
Community members should learn how to identify dogs with menacing behaviors and report this to local authorities. In most states, owners are to pay an annual fee to own dangerous breeds. They are encouraged to take extra precautionary measures to prevent their dogs from hurting anyone.
Everyone, especially kids, should learn the best practices if they ever find themselves confronting an aggressive dog. These are the following.
- Avoid running
- Stand still and keep quiet
- Keep your hands in your side
- Don’t make eye contact. It is best to look on the ground instead
- Slowly back away once he lost his interest
Anyone approaching a dog should keep in mind to ask their owner’s permission before petting the dog. Slowly approach dogs from an angle, and never directly. If the dog backs away, discontinue patting the dog.
It also helps if everyone stays informed on the best practices if they are bitten by a dog. Aside from washing the wound with mild and soap and under running water, it helps to take photos of the bite and get medical help immediately. Collect all information that can prove the attack and a reliable attorney if needed.
Dog bites are a serious community issue that should never be light. These can cause unimaginable fear and damages to anyone who gets bitten and make the families of victims suffer. Taking action and keeping dog bite prevention seriously will help avoid dog attacks from happening within a community.