Veterinarian Dog Bite: Am I Liable?

Nicholas A. Battaglia
Reviewer Details

This post was reviewed by Nicholas A. Battaglia, Esq., an attorney licensed in New York and New Jersey.  He is owner and legal content writer for a law practice marketing firm and a realty group focusing on new construction builds in upstate New York, where he lives with his lovely wife and his counselor-at-bark Flora, a mixed breed rescue.

Having a veterinarian dog bite: am I liable? In most cases, liability lies to the ones with negligence in their actions. In cases of a veterinarian dog bite, the keeper is liable if there is negligence on his part. Negligence depends on the level of neglect, but all liability is for the keeper to have.

Getting bitten by anything can happen to anyone. This accident is real, especially when it comes to animals that you take care of. You may be travelling, hiking, camping, and you’ve come across a wild animal that may bite you. Various animals in the wild may inflict a bite on you.

The biting could cause many results, especially Rabies. Rabies is a viral disease in which mammals transfers this to human through their saliva. Stray animals like dogs, raccoons, skunks, or rats are most likely to transmit this type of disease to anyone.

But let’s focus on the animals that could bite you in the comforts of your home. Especially your pet dogs. Have you ever got bitten by your pet dog before? If not, then you are lucky. If you have, did you go to your vet? But let’s first discuss why animals bite? read more here dog play bites liability


Why Animals Bite?

Have you ever wondered why animals bite? It is whether you are playing with them and have an accidental bite. There could be many reasons, so which one should you avoid?

Here are several factors that make an animal bite:


#1. Feeling territorial

Animals that have territorial disputes tend to have a grumpy mood. This factor sometimes leads to fights and biting. A human who has come across a territory on an animal instinct tells them to protect their place. So sometimes, when you go into the wild, these animals tend to attack you having you as their enemy in mind. please read here how to safely breakup a dog fight.

This thing doesn’t only happen in the wild. It may also occur in the comforts of your home. Though this may not occur to the owners, it may happen to your visitors. Imagine some stranger going inside your house. You would want to protect your place, of course.


#2. Threaten

What almost everyone does when they feel threatened or abused is to fight back. This action sometimes happens when you hold a stick or rocks against a dog. Usually, kids in your neighborhood tend to get dog bites because of this reason. Some children tend to threatened dogs inside their fences and laugh at the barking.

An animal being threatened or acting scared can lead to biting. This situation is common, especially when you are a pet owner. Having these injuries is every day because you are the one taking care of your pets.


#3. Sick

A sick animal has tendencies to bite. It is the same with dogs. They, too, sometimes bite when they feel unwell. They feel grumpy enough to chew if you annoy them.

The best way to face this problem is to seek medical attention from your veterinarians. That way, you will know what caused and what to do with your sick pet.


#4. Protection/ defense

Animals have the instinct of fighting back when they are threatened, as aforementioned above. Sometimes they want to protect either themselves or their young ones from harm. It is common for all kinds of animals to protect their young ones.

Before you approach the animal, be sure if they are alone or have younger ones hiding. This aggressiveness is sure fascinating since you will see some animals’ motherly love for their little ones.

But be sure to move gently on approaching the animals in these circumstances.


An Incident with Viterinarian Dog Bite

As the one responsible for keeping and grooming pets, you should carefully observe the actions that may lead you to a lawsuit and make you file a lawsuit against the owners, just like what happened in the case of Cheryl Armstrong v. Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Company.

What happened was John and Mack, the dog owners, went on a vacation and left their Siberian Husky to Mandy like they always do. Well, the dog is supposed to be taken care of and boarded at Thislerose for a paid service.

Armstrong, a keeper in Thislerose Kennels, doing the same routine in letting the dogs out, changing the water, and cleaning the cages also making sure to put back the dogs to their cells afterward is doing her regular job.

After two days of Mack’s’ dog being in the keeper’s hands, the incident happened. As Armstrong was doing his usual job of maintaining the dogs’ cages clean, he had trouble taking the Husky back inside.

This incident resulted in a bite. It was not a severe one, but it became infected, according to Armstrong. The infection needed several surgeries and hospitalization. Then Armstrong, the plaintiff, filed a lawsuit against the dog owners and their insurance to compensate for the damages their dog made.

In my own opinion, the owners did not neglect their responsibilities with the dog though the keeper should be the one careful. Doing a keeper as a job should be kept professional. There are instances that, as a keeper of dogs, you can’t tell when you will get bitten despite the dogs’ docile nature.

Luckily, the court agreed.  Even though a lower court awarded damages to the plaintiff-keeper, an appellate court reversed and found that a keeper cannot pin liability on a dog owner due to strict liability statutes.  While the court indicated that there could be a negligence cause of action, there was no evidence that the dog owners were negligent in the upkeep, training, or handling of their dog.  Thus, the appellate court—which was affirmed by the highest court in the state—did not allow the keeper to recover any money as it is the keeper’s responsibility to take care of the dog.

It is best for the keeper to ensure his/her safety to have a more professional job. As a keeper, one should have protective gear in handling dogs. So why didn’t she used one in taking the dogs back? As a keeper, what are your responsibilities?


Responsibilities Of A Keeper

A keeper should provide food and water to the pet. Without their owners, a keeper must be on time in maintaining the regular diets of the pet they are taking care of.

The owners may provide a particular food for their pets, so the keeper should follow them and feed them only. Pets should avoid unnecessary foods.

Wait! You still have a lot of responsibilities as a keeper, such as the following:


#1. Grooming

Keepers are also responsible for providing the grooming the pet has daily. Grooming, such as brushing the teeth, combing the fur, taking a bath, and cleaning the ears, are a few grooming examples. Petting is also needed as the pets love attention. Do not hesitate to give them a few pats on the head sometimes. please read here how to make a dog toothpaste.


#2. Entertainment

While the owners are away, the pet must be feeling lonesome. So to avoid loneliness, a keeper should provide entertainment for the pet. Not the acting and another sort of entertainment. A walk will do. Getting holed up inside the house is bore some, so a keeper should go for a walk with the pet.


#3. Cleaning

Cleanliness is next to orderliness. A keeper should maintain the pet or the cages clean. Sanitation is necessary, and cleaning the cages regularly if applicable. Collecting the poop of the pet is also required. Maintaining the cleanliness in the owner’s house and the pet’s place is one of the keeper’s responsibilities. please read here how to make a dog cable run easy steps.


#4. Give medications

Some pets require medical attention. It is to maintain their healthy body. The owner may leave you some instructions about their pet’s medication, so stay alert for the dosage. The keeper is also responsible for notifying the owners if their pet needs immediate medical attention.


Responsibilities Of A Pet Owner

Just like the keeper, pet owners have responsibilities too. These responsibilities ensure the pet’s welfare. So what are these responsibilities that we are talking about:


#1. Commitment

A pet owner should be committed to ownership. One should never be impulsive with selecting a pet. A pet owner should be committed to the life and relationship with their pets and provide the necessary exercise and mental stimulation your pet needs.


#2. Invest

A pet owner should not hesitate to invest in things that could significantly improve the pet’s health and lifestyle. One should recognize that having a pet will require you to spend some time as well as money.

It is to ensure your pet receives enough nutrition, medical and preventive health care. The same goes for illness and injuries your pet may have. Providing the budget for possible emergencies should also be prepared.


#3. Obey

Cleaning up after your pet’s mess is a responsibility of a pet owner. Obeying some ordinances implemented in your area should also be done. Some of these include leash requirements, licenses, and noise control.

Also, do not allow your