Animals are loved by many people and often become like family members to their owners. People love to take their animals with them wherever they go, especially if it is convenient for them. Everyone understands that animals should be contained on the owner’s personal property and not have the ability to disturb or harm anyone. Occasionally pet owners may have the desire to leave their animals unattended, especially if they are going to a place that is known for not being pet friendly. This decision can be tempting, especially for busy people with a packed schedule. However, unattended pets have the potential to create dangerous situations where the pet’s owner can be held liable any of their pet’s misbehavior.
Any animal that is left unattended at a park, outside a house, or any other public area is a potential accident waiting to happen. Each year thousands of people are attacked by animals and suffer injuries. Every animal has a natural instinct to protect themselves. Even fun loving and sweet tempered animals may act in a threatening manner and bite or attack people if they feel they are in danger or felt provoked. Animals should never be interrupted when they are eating or drinking since it may startle them and cause them to become defensive. Nursing animals that have just given birth and are caring for their young can also become irritable and feel threatened by people invading their territory.
Research shows that animals that attack or bite people once are likely to attack in the future. Depending on the size of the animal, their bites can result in torn muscles and damaged limbs. If an animal bites someone and deeply penetrates past the skin, there is a possibility that it can lead to a serious systemic or bacterial infection and spread throughout their body. Rabies shots may also be necessary depending on which animal attacked.
Unfortunately, unattended pets can be dangerous to others, especially small children. Child injury due to animal bites and attacks are common since small children are curious and love to play with animals. A child is less likely to approach a dog slowly like an adult would, or offer their hand out and patiently allow the dog to sniff it and gradually get to know their scent before getting closer. Unattended pets can also cause a child to be injured since kids may are less likely to recognize when an animal is feeling threatened and does not want to be touched or approached.
Facial scarring and wounds to their neck and eyes are the most common child injuries since animals have easier access to those areas of their body than if they attacked an adult. Children are more likely than adults to be seriously harmed and have fatal complications (and possibly die) due to animal attacks. Nerve damage, permanent scars, and infection from diseases are all potential threats when there is an animal attack. Children that were attacked by an animal may also suffer from a phobia and experience mild or sever emotional and psychological trauma that can take some time to heal.
Pet owners can be held liable for any damages caused by their animals. Parents of injured children may want to protect their child further and pursue a legal case against the pet owner, especially if they can prove that their animal harmed their child by biting them or knocking them onto the ground. Parents can sue for physical and emotional damages. It is also common for the local authorities to get involved and investigate what happened.
People that own pets should be very cautious about leaving their pet alone due to the potential risks and dangerous situations that can happen. Animal owners can be held liable in court to pay for any emotional, physical and psychological stress experienced by the victim and their family due to the incident. It is also possible that the owner may be required to put their animal to sleep if the local authorities believe that the animal is a public nuisance or is a threat to society. Animal control may also remove the animal from their owner before it has a chance to attack or harm someone else.