It is the legal responsibility of pet owners to ensure that people are safe from their pets. Unfortunately, many dog owners let their pets run loose, don’t keep their pets under control, and are careless even with pets who have been aggressive in the past and may be dangerous to others. Oftentimes this type of pet owner will let their dog roam loose. walk their dog around people without having the dog on a leash, and let their dog approach others – not keeping their dog under control.
Here are some tips for protecting yourself from dog bites and dog attacks.
1. Stop Attack Before It Starts: The first thing you’ll want to do is stop an attack before it starts. Avoid dogs you’re not familiar with if they are not under the control of the owner, and are not on a leash. It is also important to be familiar with the signs of an aggressive dog, or a dog that is upset, when a dog is preparing to attack, they try to make themselves appear larger. Signs to look for include, a tense body, an intense stare, pulled back ears, raised fur and a stiff tail. The dog may bare their teeth, growl and bark. In some cases yawning may be a sign that a dog is uncomfortable or tense – which may cause the dog to attack. If a dog is afraid, the dog will try to make themselves look smaller, they may crouch, put their tail between their legs, and flatten their ears back. Remember a frightened dog may also bite you.
2. Acting Competitive: For most people, their natural instinct is run away and even scream when approached by an aggressive dog. This is the worst thing to do when you’re around a dog that is getting ready to attack. If the dog is acting aggressive towards you – barking or growling – you don’t want to act competitive (by running or screaming) and you don’t want to “act like prey.” While you may be scared, your best recourse is to stand perfectly still and avoid eye contact with the dog until the dog loses interest or the dog’s owner gets the dog under control. Once the dog looks as if it has lost interest, you need to back away from the dog very slowly, again do not run.
3. Teach Children Dog Safety: It is important to teach your children dog safety as well. The majority of people injured by dog bites are children under age 14. Most children will approach every dog, including strange dogs, because they are fascinated with animals, they assume that every animal wants to be their friend. It is important to teach your children the following: don’t approach a dog you don’t know, always ask the owner before approaching or petting their dog, do not touch or approach a dog who is sleeping or eating. Teach your children what to do if a dog attacks them.
Also teach your children to never chase dogs or tease dogs.
4. Stay Away From Unfamiliar Dogs: Never assume a dog is friendly, all dogs can become aggressive in certain circumstances. The best way to avoid being attacked or bitten by a dog is to stay away from dogs that you are unfamiliar with. You should also remain cautious around dogs that you are familiar with who have been friendly in the past. Do not assume because a dog is calm around his owner, that the dog will remain calm and friendly when approached by a stranger. As dogs get older they can get aggressive, small dogs can be aggressive and dangerous, and dogs on a leash can still attack you. Never assume that you or children are safe when around a dog, always be prepared because you don’t know what can cause a dog to attack. Dogs have been known to attack and kill their owners who have had them for years.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed, in a dog attack, let our Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney help you navigate the complex legal proceedings.
You’ll find the help you need at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., where we have been successfully representing people in personal injury cases for more than forty years.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers have all been designated as “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers Magazine. Ronald J. Resmini has earned the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
We have won millions of dollars in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients. We are a top-notch Rhode Island Law Firm that knows how to defend complicated cases such as dog attacks.
Call the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. today to schedule your free consultation with a Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney. Pick up the phone and call us now at 401.751.8855.