How to Report a Dog Attack in Tennessee

Whether you tend to shy away from dogs or have dogs as pets, the last thing you likely expect is that you will be attacked by these animals. In reality, dog bites and dog attacks occur more often than most people realize. If you or somebody you care about has been attacked by a dog in Tennessee, then you need to know what steps to take to report the incident to local animal control as soon as possible. 

Why Should You File a Dog Attack Report?

Many people wonder why they actually need to report a dog attack. This question comes up more often when the dog in question belongs to a relative, friend, or neighbor. Many people do not want to start a feud between people that they know because they reported their dog to authorities. However, law enforcement and animal control agents strongly suggest that any dog bite or attack be reported for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To provide legal documentation for when you file an insurance claim to recover compensation for your injuries makes things easier for you and your dog bite lawyer
  • Helping local authorities enforce state or municipal dog bite laws. This can also help local authorities identify any potentially dangerous animals that they need to be aware of.
  • Helping to protect other individuals from being attacked by the same animals. If a dog owner is required to take additional precautions after the first attack, this could prevent future incidents.

How do You File a Dog Attack Report?

  1. Seek medical care. The number one thing you need to do after a dog bite occurs is to seek medical care to ensure that your injuries are properly treated. This has to happen before you worry about reporting the incident. Additionally, you should take as many pictures as possible of the injuries and even the scene of the attack if you can.
  2. Contact the police. Often, police are called right after a dog bite injury occurs. If they are not, you should call the police after you receive medical care on their non-emergency number to report the incident so they can initiate an investigation. The police may be able to communicate directly with animal control about the incident.
  3. Look up your animal control agency. Sometimes, individuals simply want to report the incident to animal control and not the police. However, please understand that animal control authorities work directly with law enforcement officials and are sometimes even a part of the police department. To find the correct number for your animal control agency, type in your particular location (or the location where the dog bite occurred) into an Internet search bar followed by the words “animal control.” 
  4. Follow animal control’s reporting procedures. Just about every animal control website will list the procedures for reporting a dog bite. If you do not see a list of what to do, call the number and ask exactly what you need to do and follow their procedures.
  5. Cooperate with the investigation. You will be required to cooperate with any dog bite investigation. If you fail to cooperate, perhaps because you had a change of mind about reporting the incident altogether, there will be no accountability for the dog owner, and the dog could end up biting somebody else later on.