You might be confused about what to do after a dog who is not yours bites you. You don't want the dog to be punished since, after all, it's an animal who doesn't know better. Read on to learn what typically happens to a dog after he bites someone and a personal injury lawsuit is pursued in court against the dog owner, which may ease your fears.
1. The Dog Is Typically Quarantined for 10 days
If you witnessed the actions taken by animal control and law enforcement after someone reported they were bitten by a dog, then you may have seen the dog taken away by officials in an animal control vehicle. The dog is likely just being taken to perform the mandatory 10-day quarantine where he is watched for signs of rabies. This quarantine is always performed in every US state other than Hawaii, whether the dog is up-to-date on their rabies vaccination or not due to the fact that while highly protective against rabies; the vaccinations are not infallible and there are rare cases when dogs contract rabies even when vaccinated.
Of course, no dog loves being quarantined away from their owners for a week and a half, but it is necessary to protect the health of the person bitten. And since most dogs don't show signs of rabies during the quarantine, they are typically happily reunited with their owners after this time period.
2. Every Dog is Handled on a Case-by-case Basis After the Quarantine
The 10-day quarantine is the only official federal law that applies to all dogs after they bite someone. Many states have their own laws regarding what happens to a dog after this time period, and most are very reasonable. The "One-Bite Rule" is in place in some states, and this rule allows a dog essentially "one bite free from legal consequences" if the dog has never shown signs of aggression in the past.
However, more states have stricter dog bite statutes, but the statutes only dictate what happens to the owner after their dog bites someone and not what happens to the dog. Fortunately, most of the states that have strict dog bites statutes dictate that a dog owner is automatically liable for any injuries, pain, and suffering their dog inflicts on another person, as long as the person bit was not taunting the dog or performing any other act that caused the dog to simply fight back out of fear.
So, what happens to the dogs in these states after they bite someone? Typically, nothing unless they are declared a dangerous dog or vicious dog, and in most states, it takes more than one bite for law enforcement to make that statement. What happens if the dog is declared dangerous or vicious after they bite you? Many states require the owner to register the dog with the state and are given an official set of guidelines on how to manage the dog. This can include muzzling the dog, agreeing to put up new home fencing if the court determines current fencing is to low to protect the public from the dog, and taking other similar actions to protect the public from the dog.
There are a few states that do have mandatory euthanasia laws in the case of a severe attack against a child or other serious dog attack. However, even as a dog lover, you can likely understand why an aggressive dog prone to injuring children, killing other dogs, and causing other harmful acts would be euthanized to protect others from their behavior. For more information, talk to a dog bite attorney.