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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Animal Control Investigation of Our Dog After a Child Was Bitten

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Virginia

    I wasn't sure where to put this question. about 10 days ago someones child was bitten by a German Shepherd in our common are of our condos. He is ok...It was just a scratch.

    That night an Animal Control officer came by and asked if we had a German shepherd and why he was asking. We told him we do, but we had not walked the dog that day yet as we had both been working. He thanked us and left.

    The next day fliers were placed on the door of each house saying a child had been bitten by a German Shepherd that was walking with a blonde woman and they were looking for them to make sure the dog does not have rabies. The description does indeed fit my wife and dog, but obviously was not us.

    Today I was working at home and the animal control office called me then came by and asked if he could see the dog. I questioned why and he said "We are checking all neighborhood dogs for signs of illness"

    I let him look over the fence where our dog was in the back yard. He said "Thanks" and left

    This seems super suspicious to me. If we already told him it was not our dog, why does he need to see it? Do you think this is the end of it, or will I need to get an attorney?

    Thanks a bunch for your replies!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Animal Control Thinks My Dog Bit Someone

    I suggest your wife obtain a letter from her employer on letterhead stating she was at work that day and what hours she was. Being proactive may stop a future claim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    551

    Default Re: Animal Control Thinks My Dog Bit Someone

    Quote Quoting davidm241
    View Post
    This seems super suspicious to me. If we already told him it was not our dog, why does he need to see it?
    Because not every one is honest. I doubt that he was checking neighborhood dogs for signs of illness, but rather that there was some identifying fact that they were comparing your dog to (collar color, distinctive markings, etc.)

    Quote Quoting davidm241
    View Post
    Do you think this is the end of it, or will I need to get an attorney?
    I don't see a need for an attorney. I would agree with Disagreeable however, having a note on hand stating your wife was at work would be a good idea, I would also make sure you have all of the dogs records available, specifically his rabies certificate, if you can't find it then contact your Vet and pick up another copy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,227

    Default The other sie of the coin

    Try and step back for a minute and look at this from a distance.

    Someone's child was bitten by an unknown dog. There is a concern as to whether the dog may have had rabies and whether the child will have to undergo painful rabies treatments. In order to address this, it is the responsibility of the animal control officer to investigate the matter and attempt to identify the dog and ascertain its health status.

    The description of your wife an dog are similar to those of the parties involved. While you have told animal control they were not involved, people frequently lie, particularly when it comes to their pets or when there is the possibility of civil or criminal issues at hand. With this in mind, the animal control officer cannot take your word alone and needs to resolve this to his satisfaction.

    Bear in mind, the sooner he can eliminate your dog as the one in question, he can then redirect he efforts to finding the real biter and helping the injured child avoid having to undergo rabies treatment.

    If your dog was not the one involved you need to consider whether it is in both your interest and the child's interests to not get defensive, not play the victim here and fully cooperate with animal control.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: The other sie of the coin

    Thanks for the response! You make excellent points. Your advice on stepping back is received and appreciated. I would like to say I have complied and will continue to comply with animal control. I can't fathom having to get shots in the stomach at a young age (or any age) at the same time, my concern is that we may inadvertently be determined to be the culprits due to the similarities in appearance and wish to be prepared in that case. Please don't think my seeking information in case of a worst case scenario means I am playing the victim or planning on any type of non compliance with animal control.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,455

    Default Re: The other sie of the coin

    Rabies shots haven't been given in the stomach for many, many years (actually, they were given into the mesentery of the intestines) and although the first day of treatment is not that pleasant, the rest of the shot series (4 shots over 14 days) is a small simple shot in the triceps muscle of the arm. On the first day, you get a shot of rabies-immune-globulin in your gluteus maximus that hurts like hell.

    If animal control cannot identify the dog for certain in the first week, they will start rabies shots to be safe at a cost of about $6,000. Once a person starts to exhibit symptoms of rabies it is too late. Depending on where a person was bitten, it can take as little as 14 days to show symptoms. There is no cure for rabies and it is a horrible death. So you should understand the urgency to identify the animal.

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