Have you ever seen dogs fight? The result is often unpleasant and very bloody. Two dogs duking it out is a frightening sight to behold, especially if your dog is involved. Many complications can arise, but the immediate concern would be the physical injuries inflicted.
While the immediate injuries are a cause for worry, the consequences that follow are usually more troublesome. Dog bites are easily infected if not treated properly and even puts your dog at risk of rabies. Minimize the risks of an attack on your dog by keeping these things in mind.
These Are Your Legal Rights As a Dog Owner
If it was your dog that was bitten or attacked, there are a few legal options available to you.
If that dog that attacked was previously listed as a dangerous dog, the owner of the pet might be held responsible for having an aggressive dog and can be held liable for any damages that were caused along with all the medical or veterinary bills.
If the dog that attacked your pet was listed as “dangerous” and your dog dies or has to be put down as a result, you can hold the owner responsible for the original amount that you paid for the dog.
Michigan has relatively strict leash laws, and if the owner violated these laws, might be responsible for any veterinary costs incurred from the attack.
What to Do: During the Attack and Immediately After
You can’t just stand idly by when your dog is attacked. On the other end, you also can’t get directly involved since you’ll only put yourself at risk. There are ways of properly dealing with this situation, and some of the things you should do after a dog bite include:
- Be calm.
Try to be calm throughout the entire ordeal since panic will do you no good. Also, panicking may cause you to behave in a way that the attacking dog may see as threatening. You may end up being its new target if this is the case.
- Distract the attacker.
Don’t try to get in the way of the attacking dog since you will most likely end up injured. Instead, try to distract it from afar. Throw objects, make loud noises, or use food as a distraction if available.
- Distance your dog.
Once the attacking dog is properly distracted, prioritize distancing your dog from it. This helps prevent any further attacks if the distraction fails.
- Very gently check on your dog’s condition.
Once you and your dog are in the clear, make sure to check your dog for any injuries. Do this gently because it might still be frightened and bite if you hurt it in any way. Try to calm your dog down and do first aid as necessary.
- Gather as much information as you can.
Once things have calmed down, gather all the information you need for future action. Important ones include the attacker’s breed and appearance, attacker’s owner’s contact information, and incident details. Make sure to also keep a record of the incident by writing down the details. Videos and photos, of course, will be extremely helpful.
- Go for emergency treatment, if needed.
More severe injuries will require you to seek emergency aid. Bring your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic or hospital. Call ahead, if possible, to let them know what to expect.
What To Do Afterward
There are several other things that you have to do once the immediate danger to your dog has passed. It’s best to keep the following in mind:
- Contact animal control
No matter how things have turned out, contact animal control about the attack. They need to know about these incidents to be able to update their records. Having updated records means that they can serve the public a lot more efficiently.
- Monitor your dog for trauma and other injuries
Monitor physical injuries following the attack. If you have consulted a veterinarian immediately after the injuries were sustained, you should know what to do. The more pressing problem in some cases, however, is emotional trauma. Dogs can also develop post-traumatic stress disorder if they experience especially severe attacks. Be sure to monitor significant changes in your dog’s behavior afterward.
- Check for any violations
Michigan is very strict when it comes to dog laws. If you have reason to believe that the aggressor and its owner violated these, then you’ll have some leverage. Some important laws to take note of include:
- Rabies shots are required, and this is especially important since rabid dogs are more aggressive. If this aggression led to the attack, then you have a strong case.
- Michigan is one of two states that require all dogs to be leashed while in public. A violation of this law also gives you a strong case.
- All dogs that are four months old and above need to be licensed in Michigan. Check if the aggressor has a license that is fully renewed and updated.
If you find evidence of any of the above, be sure to keep records. You can use these records in court if it comes to that.
Was Your Dog Attacked? Seek Legal Advice Today
Attacks can be very traumatic for both you and your dog. If this is because of irresponsibility on the dog owner’s part, then you may have the upper hand. Michigan is strict with these laws, and we can help you build your case. The Clark Law Office are the leading dog bite attorneys in Okemos, MI. Contact us at +1 (517) 347-6900 to book an appointment.