Having a dog is as beautiful as life can get to every dog lover out there from those long hikes to the most emotional times you go through together, your dog is your partner in crime. Many people believe dogs are sentient beings as they add an incredible amount of joy to our lives and also bring an unbearable amount of sadness when they part of this world. That is one of the most difficult times a dog-loving human being can encounter.
Your dog is a precious member of your family but sometimes his animal instincts can also take over. Your dog may lunge at pedestrians, the mailman or kids playing and so on. This behavior can spell trouble for you and your furry friend. You may find yourself dealing with a post office that will no longer deliver your mail, animal control that can cite you with fines or pedestrians getting injured and serving you with a court summons.
When a dog bites a person, it becomes a serious problem. If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you should do is make contact with the victim and offer any help you can. Your dog could potentially face charges in court leaving you liable for damages. The judge will decide if the animal was provoked or if the victim was trespassing on your property at the time. You may need to retain an attorney to defend your dog’s actions. There are many manuals out there to teach dog owners how to properly defend their pooch in court. Most homeowners insurance does not cover dog bites so paying for your attorney and court fees, including any damages awarded, will most likely come out of your own pocket.
The key to avoiding this unfortunate situation is proper training. As a responsible dog owner, you need to be aware of you and your dog’s surroundings at all times, and when necessary hire a professional to help train your dog to only attack when he or his owner is threatened.
The most important question for a dog owner after a dog bites someone is whether the animal will be put down. Every jurisdiction is different and has different consequences for animals that bite. In addition to the civil consequences and whether your dog will be put down or not, and the owner also has to worry about victim compensation. When this happens you must learn what the state, city and county statues are for dog bites and review how they apply to your situation. Some counties are much more animal-friendly and will not put a dog down just because of a bite, but others take a victim first mentality and will put a dog down no matter how vicious or not the dog is. The most important part of this process is looking at the evidence. Depending on how you or your attorney puts forward the situation that led to the dog bite, could mean the difference between life and death for your dog. If your dog was provoked, the victim was trespassing or your dog was defending you from violence or the threat of violence, it will go along way to showing that you and your dog are not liable for the injuries.
In the court proceeding, the prosecutor has to show that your dog presents a threat to civilians and is dangerous or vicious. There is a lesser standard of proof in a dog bite case then in a criminal trial, so the prosecutor does not have to prove these facts “beyond a reasonable doubt”. If your dog is found to be vicious or dangerous, a sentence (also called a disposition) is issued pursuant to the body of law being followed. These dispositions can range from a small fine, muzzling in public property to your dog being put down.
Daniel A. Digiaimo, a dog lover and CEO of Baker Street Funding commented, “If you find yourself in this situation, it is imperative to make sure you know the rules of the law and bring in as many people as possible to testify on your dog’s behalf”. Mr. Digiaimo, an expert in the settlement funding industry also added, “Training your dog properly can make situations like this entirely avoidable so make sure to train your furry friend to make sure he lives a long and happy life”.
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