Dog Bite Deterrent- Preventing the Possibility
In every dog-bite occurrence, there are at least two parties involved: the victim and the guardian (i.e., the person responsible for the dog). By reducing possible risk factors, an injury might be avoided. Each party has a responsibility to do all that is reasonable to prevent a dog bite incident.
The Possible Victim
There are obvious measures to take to avoid being bitten by a dog. Do not provoke the animal. Everyone has self-preservation instincts, and animals are no different in this regard. If the dog is acting intimidated or aggressive, DO NOT approach it. Do not pet an unleashed dog and do not pet a leashed dog unless you have permission from the guardian. Pet owners are usually aware of their animal’s tendencies and know if their dog will welcome the attention of a stranger. Do not confront dogs who are behind gates or in vehicles, they might become aggressive in an attempt to protect what they view as their territory. Dog bite laws favor the victim unless the victim provoked the dog.
Whether the person responsible for the dog is a guardian or an owner is irrelevant; if the dog bites someone, the person in charge of the dog when the incident occurred is the legally responsible party. The simplest way to avoid a dog that is under your care from biting another person is to keep the dog on a leash. An unleashed pet, or one that is not restrained on private property, is considered “at-large.” Aside from possible threats to bystanders, it is illegal in most situations for a dog to be at-large. Arizona is a strict liability state, meaning that the guardian is responsible for the actions of the dog whether on public or private property. The dog’s history as a friendly animal will have no effect on a legal decision, so if your pet is in any way likely to act with aggression, keeping minimal contact with others is paramount in avoiding a situation that might lead to an injury claim against you or litigation.
Nobody wants to be a dog bite victim anymore than anyone wants his or her dog to bite someone. With simple and common sense precautions on both sides, dog bites can be prevented.
If you become the victim of a dog bite incident, remember that there is a statue of limitations in regard to dog bite claim. Whether you are the victim or the guardian against whom a claim has been made, the law office of Nathan C. Cooley is qualified to provide counsel to you and help you navigate the process.