The Reality of a Dog Bite: Nan & Huey’s Story
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and Nan was taking it all in with dog Huey, who she was holding so he could enjoy the day with her. Huey is a beautiful five-year-old Maltese who had never injured anyone or any other animals.
When Nan was approached by an older person who asked to pet Huey, Nan explained that he was a rescue with a difficult past and that he was not comfortable with strangers. Instead of admiring Huey from a safe distance, the person bent down so they were face-to-face. No doubt Huey felt threatened or protective, and he did the only thing he could do: he issued a warning bite.
Unfortunately Nan’s home state is a strict liability state, which means that Nan is responsible for the person’s injuries. If that wasn’t enough, now the she is being sued for pain, suffering, and scarring as well as the person’s medical bills.
Nan has now entered the dog bite zone where the fines, the attorneys, the medical bills and the registration, now that Huey is labeled been labeled a “dangerous dog”, are thousands of dollars.
As dog owners, we often feel an obligation to let people touch our dogs, but the fact is that you don’t know what that person may do. A child may think it is funny to insert the stick they are holding into your pup’s nose, and people often take a dog’s head on both sides and lean in for a kiss. When they do that, your dog may feel threatened, and if he takes ANY action, plan on joining the bite zone. Plan to be abused by the victim, plan to stand in front a of judge that hates dogs, and plan to possibly find out that your homeowners policy does not cover injuries away from the house.
These days, it is not enough to have a nice dog. You have to be your dog’s advocate in every way. You can say no to strangers, you can move away from them, you can yell, but do whatever it takes so your pup is not given the opportunity to feel threatened or protective.