If you or a loved one are attacked by a dog and injured, you need to report the event to the local police. Why? The only way a dog inclined to attack can be kept under the surveillance of the authorities is to report the incident. By reporting a dog attack which may or may not have caused a serious injury, you may be protecting a small child from a serious dog bite injury in the future. Once a dog has bitten and the authorities are notified, the dog has a “record”. Ideally, the dog owner will be more careful about keeping the dog under control or not placing it in situations that could cause injury to others. Such an incident can be a wake up call for the dog owner to seek professional training to get the dog under control. However, if the owner is irresponsible and the dog attacks again, the recording of the first attack will help the second victim to pursue a claim for reimbursement of medical bills or plastic surgery bills along with possible claim for pain and suffering of the victim.
In addition, your local Board of Health needs to keep records on these incidents to prevent spread of disease such as rabies. Doctors who treat dog bite wounds are supposed to report the incidents to the local Board of Health, but occasionally they do not do so at the request of the victim’s family. This is most common when the attacking dog bites someone within the owner’s family or a close friend. However, the doctor is not doing anyone except the dog owner a favor by keeping valuable information from the authorities.