Like many New Jersey residents, you may own a dog and live near others who keep canine companions as well, but what happens after one of these animals bites you after escaping its yard or you come upon a stray animal that attacks?
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, diseases like rabies can spread to almost any pet that comes into contact with an infected animal and can pass on this potentially-fatal disease to humans. Since a bite wound can become infected quickly, taking a few steps to report the incident quickly can help you avoid serious illness.
1. Call the authorities first
Reporting a dog bite as soon as possible can allow local authorities to find the dog in question and quarantine it quickly. This is especially important if the dog is a stray or you do not recognize it as a neighbor’s pet. Give them the time, location and circumstances of the biting incident.
2. Identify the dog if possible
If you do recognize the dog, let authorities know so they can contact the owner right away. If the owner has an up-to-date vaccination record for the animal, this eliminates the possibility of rabies and other serious diseases; however, you may still request a temporary quarantine for the animal while the owner of the dog gets his or her vaccination records in order.
3. Take photos
Have someone take photos of the dog bite and of the offending dog, if possible. This helps document the incident right away and provides you with proof concerning which animal attacked you.
Dog bites in New Jersey may happen without warning and can cause serious medical issues, including infection. Contacting the local health department and the authorities regarding aggressive dogs can lower the risk of these incidents.