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If I Make a Claim for a Dog Bite, What Will Happen to the Dog?

Jan 22, 2021 | Dog Bite


Pets have become synonymous with American households. The American Pet Products Association reports that there are nearly 90 million dogs in homes across the country.

While we all love our four-legged friends, they do present some hassles. In addition to animals being prone to causing property damage, they also pose a risk when you take a dog outside the home.

It is not a huge surprise that dog bites are fairly common in the United States given the large number of house pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 800,000 Americans receive medical treatment for dog bites every year.

What happens to the dog if you make a premises liability claim against the owner?

In almost every instance, submitting a personal injury claim against a dog owner does not come with any stipulation that the animal needs to be euthanized or removed from the care of the owner. 

Learn more about what goes into a premises liability claim—and if you should consult a dog bite lawyer for your injuries. Stewart & Stewart is available to meet with injured victims 24/7, at no cost, by calling 1-866-926-2419.

Liability in Dog Bite Claims

Dogs, despite all their loving traits, can produce a fair amount of damage. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of claims submitted each year for dog bites, animals also cause property destruction.

Nonetheless, when an animal bites a human it is rarely put down unless the same animal has demonstrated aggressive tendencies in the past. However, for the vast majority of dog bite cases the owner is punished more than the canine.

While the circumstances depend on each personal encounter, dog owners are traditionally liable for their pets, including dog bites. Consequently, the owner or insurance company is generally responsible for covering any harm or suffering related to the incident.

There are examples where the victims are held partially or fully responsible for their injuries. For example, entering private property without permission that resulted in a dog attack/bite would get treated much differently compared to a dog bite that occurred between two mutual friends.

Each state treats dog bite attacks differently, yet the trend is similar across the United States. It is rare to have a canine euthanized as punishment for a dog bite. In most cases, the dog owner (or insurance company) gets punished financially more than anything else.

Seek Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites are not always harmless. In addition to health concerns like rabies, you also may want to seek damages for your pain and suffering. Personal injury and premises liability claims entitle you to the following compensation:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Additionally, victims of dog bites sometimes go after the dog owner for punitive damages. It usually occurs when the conduct of the owner was particularly outrageous before, during, or after the incident.

Contact Stewart & Stewart for a free consultation. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The law never rests, and the same is true of our hard-working, reputable Indiana law firm. Find out how we can assist you with your premises liability claim today!

Punishments for Canines in Dog Bite Attacks 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 4.5 million people are attacked or bitten by dogs each year. Children between the ages of five to nine are especially vulnerable to dog bites. Additionally, the CDC reports that over half of dog bite injuries occur at a home where the animals are familiar with the victim.

Despite these alarming statistics, a far lower number of cases actually get reported to the proper authorities.


Part of the explanation behind this discrepancy is that many victims of dog bites know the owner or are afraid the dog may get put down because a premises liability claim got filed. In short, many victims are afraid or worried about approaching a dog bite lawyer because they don’t want the animal to get taken away or euthanized.

However, homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policies generally cover dog bite incidents. These premises liability claims can usually cover a significant amount in damages ($100,000 – $300,000) and many times does not require anything from the dog owner. Furthermore, animal services will stay away from the animal.

Therefore, when a dog bite claim is made in a civil case or with an insurance company, it has no connection with an order for a dog to be euthanized. In most states, the liability in dog bites falls more on the owner than the animal. As a result, it is rare to have an animal put down unless it has attacked multiple people or demonstrated other extremely aggressive habits that require the attention of animal services.

Get More Information—Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer 

Dog bites may cause health problems and create a dilemma for victims, especially when they know the dog owner or canine. The good news is that it is rare for an animal to get punished in dog bite premise liability claims unless the dog has demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past.

Dog owners and their insurance companies are generally held responsible for dog bites that occur on private property. In most cases, the homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy can cover damages associated with the dog bite.

Furthermore, if you choose to pursue a premises liability claim in a civil court, the decision should have no bearing on the future or well-being of the animal. Contact Stewart & Stewart for more information at 1-866-926-2419.

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