A Pawrenting reader asked what right they have when a dog bites them, and the dog owner says the dog is vaccinated and only gives them first aid. He wondered if he would experience any health problems in future from the dog bite.
It was right that the reader got first aid administered after the bite. When a dog bites you, first aid care of the wound is important through washing the wound with soap and running water for around 15 minutes.
This helps to remove the virus-ridden saliva from the bite or scratch. Apply an antibacterial ointment, iodine or salt on the wound and then cover the wound with a clean bandage before going to the doctor.
When a pet bites you
The law recognises that a dog may bite someone even when all reasonable precautions are taken. No dog owner buys a dog intending to have it hurt other people. People who have aggressive breeds of dogs are usually for protection and security, especially if they live in unsafe neighbourhoods.
Therefore, when a dog bites a person, the court must determine if a pet owner was negligent and such endangered human lives.
You may be considered negligent if your dog is deemed to be dangerous and was not wearing a muzzle when among people. You may also be considered negligent if you leave your dog unsecured outside your house without a properly restrained fence or chain.
It would be best if you also put a warning sign up on your fence so visitors and passers-by are on notice that you keep dangerous dogs.
If a pet owner is found negligent, they are guilty of a misdemeanour. The offence is classified as criminal recklessness and negligence and can attract a fine or months of imprisonment.
A court can also order your pet to be euthanised if it has a history of biting. The owner of the pet also foots the costs to treat the injuries inflicted by their dog.
If your pet is suspected of having rabies and thus a danger to humans, the dog can be impounded through the Rabies Act of Kenya. The owner is also required to pay for the upkeep until he claims it; if not, it’s sold or destroyed.
As a pet owner, refrain from showing more sympathy for your pet than the human who was bitten. Compassion for humans should supersede those of animals.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]