It was a normal afternoon when David Stiles went out for a casual walk, but things quickly took a turn for the worse when a neighborhood dog attacked him. After he was bitten, he sought medical attention and then called Animal Control, but was told the dog would not be taken into custody.
Stiles later contacted Texas officials to complain about the dog. He was told that the incident would be investigated and he would receive a follow up report in 10 days. However, this wasn’t sufficient for the man whose doctor was concerned about the possibility of rabies. “My doctor’s office called and said that if I didn’t have proof that the dog’s rabies shots were up to date, I’d have to start taking rabies shots in the morning. I have a 9 o’clock appointment,” he said. The city later told reporters the dog was quarantined.
While Stiles isn’t interested in pressing charges against the dog’s owners, he said he will have to if he ends up having to spend a lot of money on rabies vaccinations. He is also concerned about the safety of children in the neighborhood, including his own 7-year-old grandson. On the day he was attacked, Stiles said his grandson asked to go for a walk with him, but he refused. “I’ve taken him before but just for some reason I had a feeling that I wouldn’t take him. If he had been there, who knows, maybe that dog gets him and I don’t get him away from it.”
According to Texas state law, when an animal is reported to animal services, the owner can choose to have it quarantined and observed by a veterinarian for 10 days. The city reports that the dog accused of biting Stiles is currently undergoing this quarantine period. The dog’s owner claims that she apologized to Stiles that the dog was not in the yard and for the biting incident. However, she insists that her pet is up to date on all vaccinations and sent medical records to officials before the dog was quarantined. Officials say that if a dog is not witnessed running loose, no citations will be issued unless someone complains and files a formal statement.
Dog bite incidents are very common in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.7 million dog bite incidents are reported each year. Around 800,000 people seek medical attention for dog bites and half of these are children. An estimated 386,000 people need emergency medical treatment following dog bites.
While laws vary by state, in most cases a dog owner will be liable – or financially responsible – for paying for injuries caused by their pet. In Tampa, a dog bite attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process of filing an injury claim. Tampa dog bite attorneys are knowledgeable about the current laws involving animal attacks and can help you protect your legal rights. Get the compensation you deserve by contacting a Tampa dog bite attorney today at 1-800-225-5564.