What can people do to protect against dog bites?
In Pennsylvania, dog owners are liable for their dog's actions. If a person's dog bites someone, that person has every right to sue for a personal injury claim. It is best for everyone involved, though, to prevent dog bites from ever happening. While dog owners should be responsible and have every possible safeguard in place to prevent bites, others who approach dogs should also do their part to stop incidents from occurring.
Learn about dog behavior
One of the best ways for peo ple to avoid dog bite and attack injuries is for them to understand dog behavior and queues that indicate the dog may be agitated, upset or otherwise aggressive. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests looking at the overall body language of the dog. If it is shrinking away, curling its tail under or crouching, this may indicate fear or anxiousness. A dog that is growling, has fur standing up on its back or stands with stiff legs may be aggressive. Both dogs are in agitated states that indicate a person should not approach them.
Children are often the most vulnerable to dog bites because they are little and weak when compared to a dog. Parents should keep a close eye on children when they are around any dog, even friendly ones. They should be taught not to approach a dog until the owner has given them the okay to do so, especially if the dog is eating, playing or sleeping. Children should also learn that if a dog runs at them, they should stand still and not make any noise. If they fall, they should curl into a ball and protect their face and head with their arms.
A note about dangerous dogs
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, a dangerous dog is one known to attack or been involved in an attack on people or other animals. They may also have been used in a crime. These dogs have attacked with being provoked, showing they are aggressive without cause. Such dogs must be handled and cared for in specific ways under the law. This includes keeping them in an enclosed and inaccessible area and properly restraining and muzzling them if not in an enclosure. The owner must also get a special permit and comply with other strict requirements.
While owners of a dangerous dog must follow these stipulations, some may not. So, people should always approach strange dogs as if they might be dangerous.
Keeping safe around most dogs is not a problem. Many dogs are friendly and love attention. They would never think of attacking a human. However, there are always exceptions. To avoid dog bite situations, it is advisable for people to always assume a dog is unfriendly and to take proper precautions until they are told otherwise by the owner. For more information on handling a dog bite situation, contact Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. today.