US News & World Report's Health section recently offered up a few tips to prevent dog bites, which become increasingly common as summer approaches. Some of their practical, easily accessible tips include:
Talk to your vet about the best breed choice for your family when thinking about adding a dog to your household. Make sure to train, socialize, neuter, and vaccine your new pet!
- Never leave a baby or small children alone with a dog, even a family pet.
- Teach children how to respect and be safe around pets. Such concepts may include not disturbing a sleeping dog and not playing with their food.
- Always ask an owner's permission before approaching or petting their dogs. Teach your children to do the same. Allow the dog to sniff you first, and avoid touching common "sensitive" spots such as a dog's face and tail.
- Don't run past an unfamiliar dog.
- If a dog looks threatened or ready to attack, remain calm! Do not make eye contact, and either stand still or back away slowly. If you are knocked over, curl into a ball and covered your face with your arms and hands.
- If you do end up bitten, call your doctor or go to the local emergency room. you may require a tetanus shot if yours is not currently up to date.
Pennsylvania law does not impose absolute liability on an owner for dog attacks, not even in respect to a dog having vicious tendencies of which the owner is aware. Liability for a dog attack may even fall to a landlord. A landlord may be held liable for injuries by animals owned and maintained by a tenant when the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal and where he or she has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disfigurement from a dog bite, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr. Attorney Doug Stoehr has experience in handling dog bite cases, and will thoroughly evaluate your claim. Call us today at (814) 946-4100 for a free initial consultation.