Every state in the U.S. has laws and regulations for pet owners. The privilege of pet ownership comes with the responsibility of keeping the public safe from any harm from the animal. Thousands of innocent bystanders suffer injury from animal attacks annually. A dog most often causes these, although cats frequently injure people too.
You must take action to recover your losses from the pet's owner, if a vicious or uncontrollable pet attacks you or family members. Take legal action so that you do not have to suffer both physical injury and financial disaster when a pet owner fails to fulfill their responsibility to the larger community. A personal injury attorney can help you determine your rights and protect your interests.
Many states have containment laws for licensed pets. Fences or kennels are the most commonly used forms of containment. However, if a fence is not properly maintained, even small pets can defeat this form of containment. Once the animal is free, it can easily become a danger to you and other members of the public. Confronted with unfamiliar situations and people, many household pets have unpredictable behavior.
Most communities also have leash laws. These laws require that the owner take responsibility for controlling the pet's behavior in public by using a collar and leash that keep you, the innocent bystander, from being attacked by the animal. If the animal has a leash, but the owner does not have complete control of the pet, they must be held responsible for injuries to others that occur when they are unable to control the animal properly.
Somehow, every year, we hear horror stories about pet owners who do not take the proper actions that the law requires, in order to keep their pets from harming innocent people. Increasingly, we hear about communities across the nation that have banned ownership of certain dog breeds that are known to be vicious and difficult to control. In some cases, pet owners simply "forget" to register their pet, particularly if the breed is considered dangerous by their communities.
Do not let an irresponsible pet owner make you a victim. If an uncontrolled house pet attacks you, report the incident to your local animal control authorities immediately. They can remove the animal from the area; making your community safer for both adults and children. Then contact a personal injury attorney to insure that your legal rights and needs get proper protection.
("Legal information found on this page does not constitute legal advice.")