Dog And Cat Injuries: Can't Sue The Animal, But You Can Sue The Owner

Dogs and cats are the favorite companions of humans. Even if you do not own a dog or a cat yourself, you cannot help but want to pet them when you see them. However, if you see a dog or cat on the loose and it wanders toward you and injures you, what do you do? First you look for a collar with some information on it. Then you do the following.

See Your Doctor for Scratches or Go to the Emergency Room for Bites and Mauls

Medical care is an absolute necessity. You do not know if this pet is generally unfriendly, or it has rabies. If the scratches are only skin deep, see your doctor. If the pet bit, tore your flesh, punctured holes in your skin, or mauled you, go to the emergency room right away for treatment. Keep a copy of the medical report for the care you received.

Contact the Owner at the Address on the Animal's Collar

You should reach out to the owner of the animal to let him/her know that his/her cat or dog attacked you. Describe the injury and the situation as it happened. Ask the owner what he/she intends to do about it. Then let the owner know that you have his/her cat/dog and can pick it up at your address. House the animal in a crate or other humane carrying case for the animal, if you have it. 

File a Police Report

Any time an animal bites or scratches a human, the animal has to be tested for rabies or the owner has to provide proof that the animal has had its rabies shots recently. Filing a police report ensures that the police will follow up with the pet's owner to verify if the animal has received its shots recently. If the owner cannot be contacted, or there is no information indicating who the owner is on the pet's collar, then the animal has to be surrendered to the police to be tested for rabies. A complete police report is filed on the incident, and you will need a copy.

If the Owner Refuses to Do Anything, File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

You cannot sue the dog or cat that harmed you, but you can sue its owner. All pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pets. If the pets are known to be hostile or aggressive, the animals need to remain inside the home when the owner is not around.

This borders on negligence if an owner lets the animal out and the animal gets away and hurts someone. Take all of the copies of the related reports and contacts you have made. Go directly to a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.