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Unleashed and Ungated Dog

It seems like every neighborhood has a dog that runs wild. But what happens when it’s a dog that isn’t so friendly. When your neighborhood dog doesn’t just want some food or attention, there is cause for concern. If you experienced a dog bite, or worse, if your kids were bitten by a neighborhood dog, you need to take legal action. Unlike other states, Ohio doesn’t automatically put dogs down after one bite. The responsibility is clearly on the dog owner, not necessarily the dog if it hasn’t had an aggressive history.

What To Do After the Bite

Always seek medical attention, even if you or your child seems fine. There are far too many things that medically go wrong after a dog bite. After seeking medical attention, you will also want to try to gather information from the dog owner. If they’re not around, you will likely need to contact animal control and possibly the police. If the dog is wearing an ID, take a picture of them for later reference. It’s also vital that you take the time to photograph the injuries from the bite. Unlike other injuries, a dog bite is immediately recognizable as severe and requiring medical care.

Ohio Laws Concerning Dogs

Ohio requires that dogs have their dog on file, or in other words registered, and there are certain people who cannot own certain types of dogs. For example, a convicted felon is not allowed to own unneutered animals.

The laws that specifically concern bites, however, are regarding personal injury. When a dog attacks someone, unless they were attacked first, the owner is liable for all damages. Dog owners in Ohio must restrain and control their pets all the time. That particular bit is important in this scenario.

It doesn’t matter if the dog was known to roam the neighborhood. In fact, the owner should have taken steps long ago to restrain their dog. A gate or leash is critical when it comes to protecting your neighbors.

Diseases You Get From Dog Bites

The issue isn’t usually the bite itself. Yes, a dog bite is painful, and it may even leave you disfigured with extreme scarring. However, the bigger medical concern is the diseases or infections that you can get from a dog bite. There are three primary infections that dog’s spread to humans, and it can happen quickly and with little signs from the dog.


The symptoms of Capnocytophaga don’t appear right away. In fact, they may take up to two weeks to surface. The symptoms include blisters, fever, swelling, stomach pain, vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, many people overlook these symptoms as “nothing to worry about.” About 30% of those who contract this infection die because the infection progresses quickly. The death of a person with Capnocytophaga can occur within 24 hours of the first sign of symptoms.


It’s the disease that many people fear from wild animals such as opossums, but many dogs carry it as well. Rabies impacts the nervous system and can lead to death or brain disease. Early symptoms again are mild and often overlooked. People report being tired or having a slight fever.

Then the advanced symptoms which indicate the nervous system was affected begin to show. Advanced symptoms of rabies include anxiety, paralysis, hallucinations, fear of water, and confusion.

Pasteurella Canis

This bacteria are common in the mouths of dogs and can result in tender bites that pus and ooze. The infection can set into a person’s joints and bones and can even result in meningitis. The process for treating this infection is a multi-round system of anti-bacterial medications.

Dog Bites Can Require Legal Action

If there is a neighborhood dog or that one dog that’s always loose, then it’s a matter of time before someone gets bitten. When you are on the receiving end of a dog bit from an unleashed or ungated dog, then contact an attorney right away. As a resident within Ohio, you have certain aspects of the law that should reduce the risk of attack from a domestic animal.

Contacting a lawyer will be the first step towards recovering the compensation necessary for your case. Not only is it possible to obtain an attorney without putting down a massive retainer or paying hourly, but it’s also possible to pay an attorney or court fees from your compensation award. Work with an attorney in Ohio at Young, Reverman, & Mazzei to start taking action necessary to cover medical bills and time lost at work because of your dog bite.

Jay A. Bolotin is a partner at the injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Bolotin. Serving the people of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, Jay dedicates his career to helping clients in the tri-state area obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries. He focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, and other types of personal injury incidents.

Years of Experience: More than 25 years
Registration Status:: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Cincinati Bar Association