Before COVID-19, Philadelphia residents could walk into a dog shelter and find dozens of dogs looking for a good home. With more dogs than adoptive families, many dogs had to be put down. Since COVID-19 and with the stay-at-home orders in Pennsylvania, and across the country, shelters are running out of dogs!
Unfortunately, there may be a downside to so many newly adopted dogs out in the community. Many adopters do not know how to train or handle new dogs, which could lead to dog bites, attacks, and escaping. Dogs also pick up on the stress of humans, which can make the dogs more stressed, increasing the risk of a dog bite.
Shortage of Animals in Philadelphia Shelters
According to KYW news radio, Philadelphia and Brandywine Valley shelters are experiencing fewer dogs and cates in their facilities. As a result of the government orders to shelter in place, many people have been looking for animal companions to help them deal with the stress and loneliness of being homebound. Parents are also looking for pets to keep the kids entertained and give them something to do that takes them out of the house.
New and Inexperienced Pet Owners
National Dog Bite Prevention Week happened right in the middle of the pandemic, from April 12-18, 2020. According to the Insurance Information Institute, with more people adopting new pets or foster dogs, it is the time to reinforce safety and responsible pet ownership. Proper training can reduce the number of dog bites.
Stressed Out Owners and Stressed Out Dogs
A study from Nature.com looks at how “Long-term stress levels are synchronized in dogs and their owners.” The study showed that, “long-term stress hormone levels were synchronized between dogs and humans, two different species sharing everyday life.”
Even existing family dogs may be more stressed out after the change in day-to-day living. Dogs who were used to the humans leaving the house for 8 hours during the weekday may feel more stress and anxiety when kids are home all day and the dog does not get a chance to rest.
Stressed-out dogs can exhibit anxious behaviors, including barking, biting, jumping, aggressive behavior, and destructive behavior.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury in Philadelphia
After a dog bite injury in Philadelphia, bite victims should seek medical attention. Even a minor bite could become infected, leading to serious injury. The next step may be to contact an experienced dog bite injury lawyer.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a “one bite rule,” when it comes to dog bites. Injury victims can recover damages if the owner knows or should have known the dog had a propensity for violence, or if the dog had a history of violence. The dog owner may claim the dog never exhibited violence before but your attorney can investigate to identify prior dog bites, aggressive behavior, or the owner's knowledge of a propensity for violence.
Many dog bite victims are children, with young children aged 5 to 9 having the highest rate of dog-attack injuries. A dog bite to a small child can require medical treatment, leave permanent scarring, and cause emotional distress for the child. A personal injury claim can help the family recover medical bills and compensate the family and child for pain and suffering.
Legal Help After a Dog Bite Injury
If you want a chance to get compensation for a dog bite injury, contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney today to discuss your case. Your family deserves to be able to walk around your own neighborhood without fear of a dog attack from a careless owner.