General

Dog bite laws mn

Dog bite laws mn

Dog bite laws mn in Minnesota

Minnesota law gives the state’s animal bite victim control over the amount of payment the injured party will receive if the attack occurred on state land. It also allows the victim to recover compensation regardless of whether the attack was made by a human, another animal, or an object (such as the car of a person). The law mandates that these awards be equal to the full amount of the claim, whether it exceeds $100,000 or not, and states that all payments made to the victim by the defendant be included as part of the compensation.

In most cases, a victim whose claim exceeds $100,000 must first file a notice of claim with the defendant’s insurer or, if the defendant has no insurance, with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. If the claim is not paid within 60 days, the victim can proceed with a court action.

Minnesota law requires that you have insurance for both you and your pets when out of the home. It also requires that owners notify their insurance carrier of all pets in the household before a claim can be made for a bite that occurs at your home.

Pets are required to wear a microchip implanted under their skin that contains a bar code that can be read by an implanted scanner. Most pet owners can download the implanted microchip onto a pet insurance website such as www.petinsurance.com. If a dog’s owner misplaces the microchip or has lost or forgotten the registration code, the owner can take the dog to an animal hospital to have the dog scanned, which will show the original microchip number. An insurance company can later be reached by phone and the victim will provide the microchip number and a new registration code. A microchip scanner can be purchased at most veterinary clinics.

You can also use the Minnesota Registry of Dogs to search for lost pets and keep records of microchip numbers and contact information.

When out of the home, owners of dogs and cats should:

Keep a close eye on their pets,

Check that all pets have on-leash identification, including microchip numbers and registered owners,

Report loose or wandering pets to the police and an animal shelter immediately,

If a pet escapes while at home, take it to a veterinarian for identification,

Keep their pets’ vaccinations current, and

Report all bites that occur to their insurance company.

Pets aren’t the only victims of bite attacks:

Children often face the threat of dog bites when outside the home, and many suffer injuries.

In 2011, the Children’s Defense Fund in collaboration with local doctors and health care workers released a comprehensive report on the number of dog bites to children and how they were being treated in the United States. The report identified children as the primary victims of dog bites, with at least one child being killed or injured by a dog bite every week in the U.S.

The CDC’s report, which has been used as the basis for the creation of local ordinances and state laws, also found that dog bites were a major cause of fatal injuries to children under the age of 13.

“Every week we see the news reports about a child killed by a dog or one or more children injured by a dog. In these cases, we have the unique opportunity to prevent future deaths and injuries by educating children and parents about the risks posed by dogs,” said Sarah Reingold, director of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Children’s Health Defense Project.

“Unfortunately, many parents still do not realize the serious danger dogs pose, and many children do not know how to protect themselves from dogs.

“Children need to be vigilant. They are just as likely to be bitten by a dog as adults are, and the risk is much higher when children are in close contact with dogs or near them,” Reingold continued. “While children are often not a target for many dog bites, they should also be cautious about approaching strange dogs.”

Dog bites caused more than 40 percent of all fatal injuries to children under the age of 13 in 2012.

According to the report, the U.S. pediatric mortality rate for dog bites and other injuries involving mouth/face and head/neck ranged from 0.8 to 2.3 deaths per 100,000 hospitalizations, and the U.S. rate was five times higher than the corresponding rate in Canada. The authors reported the rate of pediatric deaths from dog bites remained stable between 2002 and 2012.

Children were much more likely to be injured by attacks by large dogs, such as pit bulls, than by smaller dogs. According to the report, pit bulls accounted for about 25 percent of all reported large-dog bites to children.

The report also reported that bites and other injuries involving the mouth, face and head were the fourth leading cause of pediatric death, and that one-third of pediatric injury deaths caused by dog bites occurred among children ages 6 to 12. The pediatric mortality rate for bites and other injuries involving the mouth/face and head/neck was about 5.6 deaths per 100,000 hospitalizations.

Most of the fatal and non-fatal injuries involved children between the ages of 5 and 9.

“The vast majority of the dogs involved in these cases are owned dogs, and only 4.8 percent of these dogs were not in good physical health,” Reingold said. “The dog-bite fatality rate among children was five times higher when the dog was not in good physical health.”

The report cited research suggesting children can be bitten when not in close physical contact with the dog, such as when a dog is jumping on the child, or while the dog is in a playful mood.

The report recommended educating the public about the hazards of interacting with dogs, teaching children not to approach or pet dogs they do not know, and training owners about proper procedures in handling, restraining and dealing with dogs.

Reingold said the report also found that child maulings by animals were not as common as fatal injuries caused by dogs, but he noted that maulings can cause life-altering psychological damage to children.

“About one out of three dogs in the United States is owned by a child, and children are more likely than adults to become victims of dog attacks,” Reingold said. “The majority of dog bites are caused by puppies or young dogs. When animals become aggressive, as most dogs do, it takes only a few minutes before they become dangerous.”

Reingold added that dog owners should always control their dogs in public places, and “make sure you are aware of how dogs react to you.”

He advised that children should approach a dog without yelling or talking loudly and should move slowly and cautiously, and always take a stick or other item to poke the dog’s head or tail to determine whether the dog is a playful or an aggressive animal.

Children should also observe their surroundings and avoid situations that may lead to an attack, including dogs that are known to be aggressive, have injured themselves or have previously shown aggressive behavior, Reingold said.

He added that children should also ask a person accompanying the dog about the behavior of the dog.

“Never assume that a dog or other animal is friendly,” he said.

Reingold also noted that although not fatal, dog bites and scratches can leave scars that can cause anxiety and make it difficult for the child to socialize.

“The psychological damage done by the animal often eclipses any physical injuries,”