One of the most loving and humane actions individuals can take is welcoming a foster animal into their homes. Abandoned pets, or those who can no longer be cared for by their owners, are given a second chance in a caring environment. Millions of animals reside in shelters across the U.S. and over half do not make it out alive. Therefore, a foster situation is a wonderful step toward a forever home for an animal in need.
Yet when a loving family decides to foster an animal until a permanent home can be found, there is a risk. Families welcome foster animals frequently, and often, the background of the animals is not fully known. The risk is that a dog may unexpectedly lash out and injure someone. Usually that “someone” is a young family member or someone in the vicinity, such as a neighbor or a visitor to the home.
Forty-three million American households own a dog or dogs, totaling over 70 million. With that staggering number in mind, it is easy to see how many dogs fill homes in every neighborhood around us. Shelter and rescue dogs are taken in by families at the rate of over 80 percent as opposed to those purchased from a breeder at the rate of 19 percent.
The most concerning factor, however, is how many children fall victim to dog bites. According to various sources, 86 percent of all dog bite attacks cause bodily harm to victims of those bites, and 81 percent of those victims are children.
Moreover, certain dog breeds have been synonymous with dog bite attacks, often with claims from the family that the dog had no history of violence. This demonstrates the unpredictability associated with pet ownership, and more so with pets that are being fostered in an interim basis.
Common breeds associated with dog attacks are usually German Shepherds, mixed breed dogs, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. However, it may be said that any dog that feels it is being threatened could be capable of doing the same. Factors that contribute to dogs lashing out at children are usually due to insufficient fencing and the lack of restraint.
So what happens to the foster family when their fostered dog attacks another child? If a foster family released the rescue organization where they sourced the pet from any liability, then the family of a victim may have a case directly against the foster family.
Speak with a Compassionate Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
Your child’s health and safety is always paramount; when safety is compromised and a child is injured, it is devastating for parents and can spell a lengthy recovery. Therefore, if a neighbor insufficiently restrained his or her pet and it lashed out and hurt your child, retaining the services of an understanding attorney is advisable.
A dog bite attack on a young child can leave permanent emotional scars in addition to the physical ones. Lasting scars and long term mental anxiety are real consequences. Hospital bills for emergency care, plastic surgery, physical therapy, and emotional therapy can be costly. Please contact a skilled DuPage County personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Call today to schedule your free consultation.
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