We consider dogs “man’s best friend.” While they are domesticated, they also have animal instincts. Even the friendliest of dogs can bite in stressful situations. The Ohio Department of Health indicates that almost half of all households own a dog, and dogs account for 75% of all bites to people in Ohio each year.
These bites can cause serious injuries that have devastating consequences. It’s vital to know how to report a dog bite and what happens after one is reported.
Do I Have to Report a Dog Bite in Ohio?
Yes, if a dog or any other non-human mammal bites a person, Ohio law requires that a report of that bite should be made within 24 hours to the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3701-3-28 states that a health care provider, veterinarian, or the bitten victim may make a report.
How to Report a Dog Bite
In Ohio, you can report a dog bite either online or by phone, depending on availability in your area. You should contact your local health department in the county where the dog bite occurred.
If you are unsure of how to contact your local health commissioner, you can Find Your Local Health Department on the Ohio Department of Health website.
What Happens After a Dog Bite is Reported?
After reporting a dog bite, several Ohio government agencies are called into action.
Local Health Departments Will Investigate for Rabies
Your local health department will assess the situation and determine if there was a risk of rabies exposure. This will include evaluating whether the dog was up to date on vaccinations.
The dog may be held in containment for at least ten days. If the dog is at risk for rabies, the health department will quarantine the dog for a certain period of time.
That quarantine may occur in a dog shelter, kennel, pound, or in the owner’s home. The health department may order the dog to be euthanized humanely to conduct a rabies test.
Assessing the Dog’s Threat Level
The health commissioner and local law enforcement will also investigate to determine if the dog is considered dangerous. They will review whether the dog owner violated any laws as well.
One of the primary goals of the investigation will be to determine if the dog should be labeled as a nuisance, dangerous, or vicious dog. Definitions of those terms include:
- Nuisance Dog – This is a dog that attempts to attack, bite, or chase a person.
- Dangerous Dog – This is a dog that bites or causes injury to a person.
- Vicious Dog – This is a dog that causes severe injury or kills a person.
The final report from the health department and police can be used as evidence in a civil personal injury claim or dog bite lawsuit.
How an Ohio Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help You
After a dog bite, you will have to submit an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. These are complex legal processes that you should not have to deal with while recovering from a severe injury. Let the attorneys at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA help.