With spring well on its way, many New Yorkers are taking to the streets to enjoy the beautiful weather. However, while meandering through the city, it’s important to remain wary of potentially dangerous dogs — including small ones on leashes. Even if you are a dog owner yourself, you can never predict how a strange dog may react to you, your scent or your dog.
In NYC alone, there are 4,000 dog bites reported each year. Studies have found that children and the elderly are most at risk and that dog bite victims often know the animal that attacked them. To protect yourself and prevent a dog bite injury this spring in NYC, take the following precautions:
- Follow the leash law — If you own a dog, keep it on a leash. Doing this can keep your pet from becoming involved in an altercation with another dog which ultimately, could result in you or someone else suffering a bite injury. In NY, the law requires owners to keep their dogs on leashes no longer than six feet long.
- Pay attention to a dog’s behavior — A lot of times a dog will exhibit certain behaviors prior to lunging, biting or attacking. If you come across a dog that is growling, baring its teeth or barking aggressively, stay back.
- Allow a dog to sniff you — Does your friend or neighbor own a dog? While you may be inclined to reach out and pet it, be careful. Never approach any dog with quick darting movements or otherwise startle it. Instead, slowly extend your open hand and allow the dog to sniff you before engaging in any other contact.
Dog attacks can cause serious physical harm and emotional trauma. If you are a victim of a dog bite injury in NYC, the law may entitle you to compensation for medical costs, lost income and pain and suffering. Consult a lawyer from [ln::firm_name] to learn more about dog owner rights and responsibilities.