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What happens after a dog bite?

You love your pet, and you want to make sure he can go with you to parks, playgrounds, beaches and other fun places. As a responsible pet owner, you've gotten your pet training and always keep him leashed. That wasn't the case when a dog attacked you, though.

As you walked your pet, another person's unleashed dog came toward you. It didn't back off; instead, it attacked. Thanks to help from your own pet, you got away with only a few puncture wounds, but it's still a frightening experience.

As a victim of a dog bite, it's important to get medical attention as quickly as possible. Puncture wounds can harbor dangerous bacteria. Even scratches or minor wounds have a potential to get infected.

Also, make sure to report the incident to the Division of Disease Control and to the police. The owner of the animal should be held liable for the animal's acts. Remember to get the owner's name, address and other identifying information. Keep information on how the attack took place.

When an animal attacks a human and causes serious injuries or death, that animal is more likely to be taken from the owner and potentially put to sleep with euthanasia. That doesn't always happen for minor attacks, though, so don't feel like you're sentencing the animal to death just because you're reporting an attack. In many cases, animals are quarantined, and if they are able to be retrained or can be kept away from the public safely, later returned to their owners. This is something you can discuss with your attorney if you're concerned for the pet's welfare.

Source: FindLaw, "Philadelphia Dog Bites: The Basics," accessed Jan. 03, 2018

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