More Rabies? You Better Make Sure Your Dog Has Its Shots
Maricopa County has seen an increase in rabid animals recently. The seven cases this year relate to five bats, one bobcat, and one fox; and they outweigh the five cases confirmed by the Department of Public Health last year. But while the disease has only been seen in wildlife so far, experts are advising pet owners to get their animals up to date on their vaccines—and not to handle wild animals.
Why Your Pet Needs Vaccination
The spread of rabies from wildlife to domestic pets could be disastrous for the people around them. Officials have stated that, along with the increase of rabies cases, four people have had to receive preventative rabies shots after exposure to rabid animals.
Dog owners need to be especially vigilant. If a dog does become rabid and bites someone, or even breaks a person’s skin while playing, that person could contract rabies as well. Rabies can be fatal in humans (although if given proper treatment quickly, the survival rate is high but they still become quite sick).
If the injury is serious enough (as rabies often is), the injured person has a right to file a claim against the dog owner.
Arizona’s Rules on Vaccination
Arizona statute is clear when it comes to the vaccination of dogs. All dogs must be licensed and, before those licenses are issued, the owner must present documentation from a certified veterinarian that the dog’s vaccinations are up to date. That documentation must provide the date the dog was vaccinated, the dog’s name, the serial number of the vaccination, and when the next vaccination is due.
When dog owners fail to comply with this statute, they could be held liable for not keeping their dog in good health and thereby, endangering the health of the people around the dog. Under Arizona’s strict liability law, dog owners are always held accountable when their dogs have bitten someone, regardless of the circumstances.
If you’ve bitten by a dog, or your dog has bitten someone and you want to learn more about protecting yourself, call The Husband and Wife Law Team at (602) 267-1280. Dog owners need to be responsible for their dogs, and here in Arizona they often are, but mistakes can still happen. A injury victim should never be the one paying for a mistake!