President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd Major, a rescue dog that the Biden family adopted in 2018, is still technically the First Dog of the United States, although it can no longer.
President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd Major, a rescue dog that the Biden family adopted in 2018, is still technically the First Dog of the United States, although he can no longer frolic on White House grounds. After what has been referred to in several reports as a “bite incident” between the Major and a White House security official, the former Very Good Boy has been deemed a very bad boy: both he and the other German Shepherd Biden are now living with friend First Family in Delaware.
Given government issues, Biden did the right thing not only in terms of management but also as a dog owner. If you take the Major out of the environment that likely triggered his rebellious behaviour, the dog has a good chance of redeeming.
But what if a beloved dog bit a person? The rules are almost always the same, whether you are a president or an ordinary civilian.
if your dog bites someone Isolate the dog immediately
If you find yourself in a situation where your dog is biting someone, you must immediately get him out of the situation. Regardless of whether your dog felt threatened or became addicted to the game, you must rule out the circumstances that allowed him to bite.
If your dog bites a stranger, make sure he is okay so you can take a minute to drag the dog into your house, your car, or some other place where it can be safely isolated. Then you must assess the situation at many different levels.
Assess the bite damage
There is a tool for assessing damage in case of a bite. Dr Ian Dunbar’s Bite Scale assesses the severity of bites and gives instructions on what to do at each level.
This is how the scale works:
- Level 1: Aggressive behaviour, but no contact with the skin of the teeth.
- Level 2: “Skin contact with teeth, but no skin punctures. However, there may be cuts in the skin (less than one-tenth of an inch deep) and slight bleeding caused by forward or lateral movement of the teeth along the skin, but no vertical punctures. “
- Level 3: “One to four punctures from one bite, and the depth of the puncture does not exceed half the length of the dog’s canine. Possibly lacerations in one direction, caused by the victim’s arm retraction, the owner’s retraction of the dog, or the force of gravity (the small dog jumps, bites and falls to the floor. “
- Level 4: “One to four punctures from one bite, at least one puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canines. There may also be deep bruising around the wound (the dog held on for N seconds and pressed down) or lacerations in both directions (the dog held on and shook his head from side to side).
- Level 5: “An incident with at least two level 4 bites or an incident with multiple bites with at least one level 4 bite each.”
- Level 6 : “The victim is dead.”
According to Mine’s K9, severity I and II bites are overwhelmingly the most common and are almost always resolved with a sincere apology and demonstration of dog isolation. However, for levels 3 and above, the victim should seek medical attention. If your dog bites its prey, it might be worth at least offering to take the person to a doctor.
Exchange of information and possibly a lawyer
Not all bites end well. Sometimes they can be quite serious, and even if they are not, the victim may demand some kind of compensation. In the latter case, the exchange of information such as name, telephone number and email addresses with the victim should be expected. It would also be wise to contact your home insurance provider if your dog has bitten someone while on your property. As Mine’s K9 notes, “Most insurance policies cover medical expenses for injuries to your property.”
Going to a lawyer is always a good fallback if the person bitten by your dog is not happy with the apology and gestures of goodwill.
Can my dog be euthanized?
You don’t have to worry about the state ordering you to put the dog to sleep, it bites someone. There is no federal rule on how to deal with dogs that bite people, so you will have to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state, which differ significantly in defining owner responsibilities and penalties.
As an example, however, we can review the California regulations to get a feel for what you might expect, courtesy of personal injury attorney Robert J. Kaiser:
After you are bitten by a dog, you and the owner must report the incident to Los Angeles County Veterinary and Rabies Control Services.
From there, the county can decide to investigate the incident. This investigation can help verify the accuracy of the initial report (s) and decide what action to take against the dog if any. It can also help establish the owner’s liability, which is helpful if you decide to take legal action.
As the lawyer writes, investigations like the ones described above are mainly used to determine if your dog has rabies or another transmissible infection. If your dog is found to have rabies, it must be quarantined for 10 days in accordance with the laws of the country in which you live. Sometimes a dog can be quarantined at home, while in other cases it may be required to be quarantined at an approved shelter.