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Healthcare providers and dog bite law reporting in LA

Getting a new pet is usually an exciting and happy time, but some new pet owners in New Orleans may be unaware of the many laws and ordinances surrounding ownership of pets. Owners of dogs in particular can benefit from being mindful of these rules, as liability for dog bites can be very costly.

One thing many dog owners might be unaware of is the fact that there are certain reporting requirements for local New Orleans Parish healthcare providers when it comes to dog bites. According to the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, healthcare providers who treat those who have been bitten by a dog - or someone who has suffered serious bodily injury as the result of a dog attack - are required to report such treatment to the Animal Control Division of the LA/SPCA.

These reports are to be composed immediately whenever possible, typically within 24 hours after treating the dog bite victim. What is included in these reports? Usually, they include demographic information related to the patient as well as the nature of the injury. In addition, a thorough report will contain the location of the biting animal as well as both the name and address of the animal's owner.

The implications of this reporting requirement are clear for negligent dog owners: it is difficult to "hide" after one's dog has harmed another. While most Louisiana pet owners are responsible and caring, some are careless with the socialization and treatment of their animals. Even something as simple as allowing a small child to play near a dog can be dangerous, as even the most typically calm dogs are ultimately unpredictable.

Individuals who have been harmed by another's dog can struggle trying to figure out dog bite laws on their own. After obtaining treatment for any injuries, it can be expedient to discuss the incident with a qualified premises liability attorney. Compensation may be available to those hurt in an animal-related accident in New Orleans.

Source: Louisiana SPCA, "Orleans Parish Animal Ordinances," accessed Jan. 9, 2016

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