Who Do You Report a Dog Attack To?

Indiana Dog Attack Injury Attorneys

Being bitten by a dog can be traumatic. The state of Indiana takes dog bites and vicious attacks seriously, and they have deployed several measures for helping victims of these attacks. While you can receive compensation by filing a claim against the dog’s owner, you must first report the attack.

All animal bites, domestic or wild, are investigated by the state. The authorities complete the Official Indiana Bite Report form, and in some cases, the dog may be quarantined or confiscated.

To Whom to Report a Dog Bite in Indianapolis

After a dog attack, the party you contact first depends on the situation. If you are in immediate danger or the dog attack victim is seriously injured, contact emergency services by calling 9-1-1. Law enforcement will handle the dog attack report and contact animal services to collect the dog and complete an investigation.

If you are no in danger and the dog is back with its owner, go to the emergency room and report the dog bite while receiving treatment. Dog attacks are reported to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, and animal control will find and assess the dog.

Dog bites are county health events; therefore, the health department will also be notified so that they can conduct any follow up testing necessary.

Reporting the dog attack to the officials is essential. Not only does it create a state record so that the animal’s future behavior is tracked, but it protects the public.

Treatment after the Reporting

Once you tell a health care professional that you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, the state requires that they follow specific treatment protocol.

The wound site(s) will be vigorously cleaned with medical cleansers and water. Then your wounds will be dressed. It is crucial that these injuries be taken care of quickly because more than a dozen bacteria live in the saliva of a dog’s mouth. Even if the dog is vaccinated for rabies, you could contract a dangerous illness or infection from that bacteria.

Next, your healthcare provider will give you a tetanus booster if it has been five years since your last booster. If you have never had a tetanus vaccination, then you will begin the vaccination series.

Lastly, you may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent further infection.

What Information Do You Provide When You Report a Dog Attack?

Specific data is needed for the official dog report. This information is helpful for the state but also can be used for filing a claim with homeowner’s insurance or when filing your lawsuit.

Information the state needs includes:

  • Information about the Animal – This includes the breed of the dog, age, size, and weight – if you know.
  • Information about the Victim – Victim information includes name, contact information, gender, age, and injuries.
  • Rabies and Vaccination Information – The state will need all rabies and vaccination records for the animal. The dog’s rabies vaccination tag should be registered with the state.
  • Circumstances of the Attack – All animal bites and attacks are reported, even those that are not intentional. You must describe when and how the attack occurred. Was the animal provoked? Did the animal bite out of nowhere?
  • Owner Information – The dog’s owner’s information must also be supplied, including name, address, and contact information. If the owner is unknown, the state will investigate and try to locate the animal’s owner via microchip.

Will the Dog be Quarantined?

Not all animals are quarantined for bites. The state typically isolates only if the animal is not up to date on their rabies vaccinations or there is a question about the dog’s rabies status.

If a dog does not have an up-to-date vaccination record for rabies, the state does an automatic quarantine for ten days.

If the dog has no owner and looks ill and attacks someone, the state allows law enforcement to humanely put down the animal or a veterinarian humanely put down the animal.

All dogs over six months old must have a valid rabies vaccination. If a dog’s owner knowingly keeps a dog that is older than six months without rabies vaccinations, it is a class C infraction. If that dog bites or attacks, it becomes a class E. If found guilty, the owner will spend up to six months in prison and pay up to $1,000 in fines.

Another consideration is the breed of the dog. Some cities have breed restrictions, such as banning the ownership of pit bulls. If the dog is not registered in the city, and it is a banned breed, the state will take the dog and quarantine the animal.

Will the Owner Face Criminal Charges?

If you report a dog bite or attack, the dog’s owner could also face criminal charges. Under Section 15-20-14 of the state’s code, an owner may be guilty of a misdemeanor if:

  • The dog knowingly or recklessly fails to take reasonable steps to confine the animal and avoid an attack.
  • The owner allows the dog to go onto other properties, and the attack occurred on another party’s property.
  • The owner did not leash or restrain the dog.

If the bites or attack result in death, these charges are escalated into a felony. In most cases, the owner will be charged but may be released until their hearing date unless charged with a felony.

Reporting Helps Your Claim Too

Reporting the attack immediately to the authorities helps in the vent you need to file a claim for compensation. Whether you are negotiating a settlement with the dog owner’s insurance or you are suing the owner in court, an official report with the state is necessary.

Attacked by a Dog? Speak with an Attorney

If a dog you know or stray attacks you or a loved one, you need to contact the authorities, then seek medical treatment. Afterward, contact a dog attack attorney. An attorney can help with the investigation, ensure the right information is provided in the state report, and secure compensation for your damages.

Speak with an attorney from Jacobs Law, LLC now regarding your dog attack or contact us online with your legal questions.