First dog, “Major,” is back in the doghouse after a second biting incident at the White House.
Major, the Biden's three-year-old German Shepherd, is slated for further training after biting a National Park Service (NPS) employee at the White House. The NPS employee needed light medical attention after Major's second biting incident. The first nip, which reportedly did not involve broken skin, required a Secret Service member also to receive minor White House first aid.
Dog bites can result in serious injuries that require long-term care and treatment. Personal injury claims for dog bite cases in Pennsylvania range from $26,000 to more than $500,000, as noted in one of our earlier posts, Taking the Bite out of the Dog. So, Major's behavioral shortcomings are not necessarily a minor matter.
What to do if your pooch is prone to biting? Pennsylvania takes dog bite cases seriously. If Major had misbehaved in Pennsylvania and had caused serious injury, he might have been required to wear a muzzle in future outings. And the White House gates might have been hung with “beware of dog” signs, giving the gates an ominous appearance at odds with the beauty of the White House grounds beyond.
In Pennsylvania, a “dangerous dog” includes dogs that have attacked a person without provocation and inflicted “serious injury.” A dog that attacks a domestic animal, such as a dog or cat, off site without provocation may also be designated as “dangerous” if the dog has a history of such conduct.
Once a dog is certified as “dangerous” in Pennsylvania, the dog must be registered as such. The owner must also show evidence that the dog is confined within a “proper enclosure,” and that signs are posted that there is a dangerous dog on the property. The dog owner must also post a sign specifically geared towards children, warning them of a dangerous dog on the premises.
In addition, the owner must microchip a dog deemed dangerous. The owner must also spay or neuter the animal, obtain a bond in the amount of $50,000 payable to anyone injured by the dog, and must maintain an insurance policy naming the secretary of state as additional insured.
Walking a volatile pup is also no picnic as dangerous dogs must be muzzled and restrained by a “substantial chain or leash” while out and about with their owners or handlers.
Dog owners that fail to comply with the dangerous dog law may be fined up to $5,000 and required to kennel or quarantine the dog after an incident. They may also be required to euthanize the dog if it bites or injures another person or pet.
For more on what to do if you are bitten by a dog, read our earlier blog, When an Animal Attacks.
When it comes to dog bite cases, we literally wrote the book on it. Order your copy of our book from our website here: The Pennsylvania Dog Bite Book. We can put our dog bite expertise to work on your behalf, so call now for a complimentary consultation. We can help! 215-576-5150.
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