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NuGoonie23's avatar

What actions do you take after your dog has bitten a person?

Asked by NuGoonie23 (1055 points ) September 6th, 2009

so my cousin just called me up to tell me her 3-year old boston terrier bit someone at a restaurant. the dog wasn’t with her, he was with my cousin’s mom and dad. i’m not quite sure why he bit this lady yet, and i’m still waiting on a call as to what happened, but what actions do you take now that this has happened? this dog has no violent history and hasn’t ever bit a person. the police said something about how the aspca is going to come over my cousin’s home to quarantine and check out the living environment I guess.

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18 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

This is bad news. My cousin’s dog bit the paperboy once. The dog was put down afterward.

dpworkin's avatar

You are almost always considered negligent after your dog bites someone. You are required to control your domestic pets at all times. It’s like hitting someone from behindmin your car: you are nearlt always at fault, technically.

There will have to be a settlement with the victim, but your homeowners insurance policy may cover that- it would be best to ask your insurance agent.

As for animal control, they have the right to make you surrender your dog for euthanasia if it is deemed to be a clear an present danger to others, but an attorney may be able to help you to negotiate that.

Whoever was responsible for the dog at the time should bear half the consequences. It is that person who was not maintaining proper control over the animal.

Ivan's avatar

Don’t kill it.

sunshine123's avatar

The same thing happened with my Boston Terrier, Soccer…He is a sweet dog but was afraid of this kid and bit him….anyway I had to keep Soccer in my home in quarantine..
and from there on I never let him near little kids…. he was a real small boston and afraid of kinds… probably the same thing that happened with your cousins BT. I have had 6 Boston terriers through out my life, they are so sweet but who know what triggered your cousins pup to bite…I’m sure that it will be fine… I just would not allow it to go near small children anymore… Good luck!

NuGoonie23's avatar

thanks! so my cousin called me with more info:
“daddy” (the dog’s name) bit a grown woman, but she was a stranger.
he’s usually friendly to strangers.
anyways, so he was on his leash, and sitting next to my uncle and aunt. the lady that he bit came over from the other restaurant and asked “can i pet him”. And of course my uncle and aunt said yes. Something then happened to where when the lady was petting him all in his face, he just snapped and bit her on her face. so he was controlled by my uncle and aunt, but it just happened in surprise. the lady from the aspca said that if he’s updated he will be in quarantine at home, if he isn’t updated with the shots he will be quarantined for 10 days outside the home.

NuGoonie23's avatar

btw. they were sitting on the patio of the restaurant.

Likeradar's avatar

My parents’ dog nipped someone years ago and was put on a 10 day quarantine.

I would consult a lawyer if this happened to me. You don’t know the extent of this lady’s injuries and whether or not she is litigious.

NuGoonie23's avatar

well my cousin told me that she was bleeding.
and she said that the lady who got bit kept on saying “i’m sorry, i’m sorry” but her husband had came an just started cussing out my uncle and aunt and stuff. which wasn’t cool, but the actual lady who got bit didn’t over-react. she still had to be taken to the hospital. i mean she did bleed quite a bit.

Garebo's avatar

My neighbors, good friends at the time, chocolate pedigree lab, trained by the best, bit my son in the face when he was ten-blood every where. My son hadn’t teased it just padded it told her to go home along with their daughter who had come to get their son to come home for dinner. We were in shock, they were in shock, fortunately there was too many stitches; they were ready to pay anything. I accepted that and wasn’t thinking of suing since they were friends and neighbors. Long story short, he kept the dog to long before we threatened to sue, finally he sent it away. We got their insurance company involved despite his commitment to pay for everything; we knew we had recourse until he was 18. There insurance company paid all expenses. He now has no scars and never required cosmetic surgury and is not scared of dogs. It had too be the most difficult situation we have endured to date. If he wasn’t a friend at the time, and a neighbor I would definitely sue him for emotional distress-20 20, I screwed up, and should have.

YARNLADY's avatar

When my dog bit a neighbor lady, I wrote down the circumstances and kept the story in my files, just in case there was any problem. Several days later, the Humane Officer left a notice on my door saying to keep the dog inside for two weeks, and call them if she got sick. That’s all, I never saw anyone or heard from anyone.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I don’t think the dog will be euthanized… the only reason they quarantine dogs is to make sure it doesn’t have rabies or any other illness that the victim would need to be aware of. It sounds like a classic case of someone invading a strang dog’s space and the dog lashing out at them out of fear. I had a kind of similar incident at my house a few months ago. I have two bullmastiffs that are very protective of the house… I always tell guests not to pet them at all even though they’ve never bitten any of our friends. I just think it’s my responsibility to be very sure they don’t bite anyone. One of them did bite a stranger (pretty badly) who tried to pet them through the fence, but I don’t think anything could come from that because he was trespassing, so hopefully he wouldn’t be able to press charges. At least I can always honestly say that I did not give anyone permission to touch my dogs, so maybe that will help if anything ever does happen.

sakura's avatar

If the dog was on a lead and under control and the person approached it then there shouldn’t be any issue, especially if they brought the dog back under control quickly. If it wasn’t letting go and took a long time to control then it may be different… as it could be deemed the dog was out of control and dangerous.
I hope all goes well, I really don’t know what I would do if my dog bit anyone, he is so friendly and soft, not in his true nature at all, for one mistake it would be a bit cruel to have it put down.

Maybe you could buy a muzzle for it when it goes for walks (a fair comprimise?)

rebbel's avatar

Since it’s ten hours ago that you asked this question i don’t suppose my answer is going to be of much help now, but anyway: offer to bring the lady to the hospital for necessarry treatment.
She’ll need to get a tetanus-injection most probably.
Maybe offer to pay for it as well.

NuGoonie23's avatar

oh and another thing that might have scared the dog was that the lady was wearing a really huge hat.
which i know sounds kind of dumb, but the dog might have bit her because of that?
idk. maybe he was scared?
but he’s a really really friendly dog, even loves to be around children. like this came as a shock to us.

YARNLADY's avatar

After it became clear that my dog was easily spooked, I made it a point to keep her away from any new stimulations, and put in a double fence to keep her in and people out. When visitors came to the house, the dog was kept in the area we had set aside for her. When I took her out for a walk, I was extra careful to keep people away from her, and if I expected a crowd, I put a nylon muzzle on her.

cwilbur's avatar

It depends on the state you’re in. The best thing to do is to consult a local lawyer.

Some states have a “one free bite” approach—if the dog has never bitten anyone, and the owner is legitimately surprised, the courts are more lenient. You can unintentionally waive this by doing something like putting up a “Beware of Dog” sign, though.

At the very least, though, you’re probably going to be liable for any medical bills.

NuGoonie23's avatar

@cwilbur ohh okay thanks.

pathfinder's avatar

bad boy.I give him a litle slap

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