Our work with Forever Paws Animal Shelter is one of our favorite things we get to do. However, we’d be remiss to not acknowledge that dogs, especially when left unsupervised, untrained or in distress, can be a source of conflict. No one likes to think about it, but it’s a reality and one that needs to be considered.
For starters, each community has their own local leash laws and registration requirements. Best practice is to keep your dog leashed and supervised unless they are in a well-fenced area or designated off-leash park. Also look for signage about what is permissible at the park, beach or preserve where you plan to visit with your pet. Respecting the rules and regulations as well as the rights of others is important to sharing community spaces.
In Massachusetts, the owner of a dog can be held responsible when their dog attacks someone else and the injured person has the option to seek compensation through your Massachusetts homeowner’s insurance policy. When a dog bites, causes an injury, or even causes a wrongful death, there is strict liability for the owner.
Homeowners – Take a look at your home, property, and neighborhood. How old are the kids in your neighborhood? Most times, the best decision you can make is putting a strong, quality fence around your property. This keeps your dog contained, but still able to run around, and puts a physical barrier between them and the neighborhood kids which stops them from possibly antagonizing the dog.
Parents – Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are the most frequent victims of dog bites and attacks, but homeowners and parents alike can try to prevent these injuries. Never underestimate a dog. Dogs may be well behaved, they may be trained properly and belong to a family member or friend, but dogs can still be unpredictable and become stressed quickly, causing them to attack without warning, so be careful and teach your children at a young age the proper way to act around dogs. As always, use your best judgement and do your part to keep the community safe. If you see a new dog roaming your neighborhood, talk with your neighbors. If the dog is a stray, call your local animal control office to have them come get the dog so it can be properly cared for.
In the event of a dog bite, take it seriously as some dogs may not be vaccinated properly. If the injury is substantial, or even possibly substantial but you’re not really sure, call 911. If the injury is minor, call your doctor or pediatrician and ask to be seen as soon as possible.
Remember, if you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of others please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
Over the past two decades, the law offices of Dussault & Zatir have successfully handled hundreds of cases in Massachusetts and Rhode Island involving a wide variety of personal injuries and we’re here for you. Dussault & Zatir, P.C. is prepared to ensure that you receive a full and fair settlement for your injuries. Call today (508)999-2000!