RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP CAN LESSEN RISK OF DOG BITES
The American Veterinary Medical Association
A 3-year-old Warren boy, along with his mother and grandmother, were recently mauled by the family pit bull. Police on the scene said that the large dog continued to act aggressively towards officers, so it was shot and killed.
The mauling incident in Warren is not unlike stories heard across the country each month. The owner of two dogs who mauled a young boy to death and critically injured a young girl in Atlanta was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter. Atlanta police said the dogs attacked the children while they were on their way to the school bus stop.
JANUARY IS NATIONAL TRAIN YOUR DOG MONTH
Experts say that one of the best ways to help with dog bite prevention is being a responsible dog owner. Use this month to remind yourself that training the family dog with everyday manners and behaviors can mean the difference between having a Fido that behaves versus a pet dog that creates a sad situation similar to what happened in Warren and Atlanta earlier this month.
SET THE FOUNDATION FOR DOG BITE PREVENTION
AVMA provides some basics of responsible dog ownership and dog bite prevention:
- Carefully select your dog. Puppies should not be obtained on impulse.
- Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
- Don’t put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
- Train your dog. The basic commands “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and “come” help dogs understand what is expected of them and can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of trust between pets and people.
- Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
- Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
- Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog and to show others that you are in control of your dog.
- Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and veterinary care are also important because how your dog feels affects how it behaves.
- Neuter or spay your dog.
EVEN GOOD DOGS BITE
Unfortunately, dog training experts agree that nearly all dogs are capable of biting, even the good, trained ones. A dog that bites can be caused from several reasons, including excitement, fear and even dominance. Dog owners do have the responsibility to keep their dogs under control though.
In Michigan, there are three theories of liability for Michigan dog attacks:
- A person can bring a lawsuit under the Michigan dog bite statute, MCL 287.351
- A person can file a lawsuit under Michigan common law strict liability
- A person can file a lawsuit asserting basic negligence principals against the dog owner.
The principal defendant in most Michigan dog bite and dog attack cases is the dog owner.
Please call our Michigan dog bite lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about Michigan dog bite and Michigan dog attack law. Let us help you today.