Dog Bites in Wisconsin

A dog being trained as a service dog recently attacked and killed the 7-year-old son of its owner for reasons that have not yet been determined. The mother believed that the child was safe around the dog, which had been in the family for 3 months. The dog was a Rottweiler about 4 years old and was euthanized at the family’s request.

Dog bite laws in Wisconsin are uncompromising; if a dog causes injury to a person or domestic animal, or causes damage to property, the dog owner is liable for it under Wis. Stat. Ann. § 174.02 under all circumstances. In the case above, the mother would not face civil litigation but may have faced criminal charges if she had been in any way to blame for the attack. The latest update on the case indicated that the mother was not at fault in the boy’s death.

If the dog had bitten someone else or injured another pet or domesticated animal, however, the dog owner would be liable for the attendant costs, including but not limited to medical expenses, loss of income, loss of value (for death of another animal), or repair costs (for damaged property). Being a dog owner in Wisconsin can be tough, but the fact is pet ownership is a heavy responsibility, especially if the pet is large and/or inherently dangerous to others.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® about half of all dog bite cases involve children, perhaps because they are more likely to approach a strange dog without trepidation, or they are less capable of warding off an attack. Even if the victim is partly or wholly responsible for an attack, the dog owner is still the liable party.

If you suffered serious injury or loss because of someone else’s pet dog, then you are probably entitled to compensation under Wisconsin law. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area for a better understanding of your legal options.

Keep Your Pets Healthy

Dogs, wolves and foxes – all these belong to same family; and these are all active animals, running and playing most of the time, and hunting for their own food. In fact, to date, some breeds of dogs are still being used to pull sleds, keep the herd together or hunt with their master.

There are dogs, however, that seem to have been domesticated too much, made to wait to be fed by their owners and lying idle most of the day, since their owners no longer have the time to take them either for a walk or a run – daily exercises that these animals need so much.

Dog experts agree that dogs that never get their daily dose of exercise have the danger of transforming their unused energy to harmful playful moves or attacks. Some of the signs of this unspent energy in dogs include: destructive chewing; knocking furniture over; constant scratching on walls, on the floor, or on the door; whining; jumping up on people; digging; rough play; play biting; and, too much barking.

Lack or absence of exercise and play can be a couple of reasons why some dogs suddenly become injurious even to their owners. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 800,000 cases of dog bites are recorded in the US every year. Quite an alarming figure, but what’s more bothering is the fact that a great majority of the victims are either children aged between 1-9 years old or the elderly; children aged 4 and younger usually suffer bites on the head and neck.

Owners are fully responsible even for the behavior of pets. This is why some dog owners hire the services of dog walkers to make sure that their dogs get the much needed exercise needed as often as possible within a week. A well-exercised and healthy pet is much better than an often idle one but which can resort to injurious playful moves or attacks without warning.

Other than children and elders, some of the most common victims of dog bites and attacks are neighbors and relatives (who come for visits). When a dog bites, however, the issue of kinship or of being neighbors is replaced by legal concerns, which the dog’s owner will have to face. Along this line, the victim or his/her family may find it difficult to refer the case to a legal professional, especially if the dog’s owner is a relative or a close family friend. One person the victim can turn to in this case is a personal injury lawyer, whose training and expertise will help in dealing properly and professionally with both the victim and the liable pet owner.