What Happens After A Dog Bite Is Reported?

You were bitten by a dog. You took the steps necessary to report the incident to appropriate authorities in your respective municipality in Tennessee. You have received or are still receiving medical care.

So, what happens now?

All too often, dog bite incidents are reported and then never followed upon. If you have been bitten by an aggressive dog, you may very well want to know the outcome of the investigation into the incident and what happened to the dog in question. Here, we want to discuss what happens after a dog bite is reported in Tennessee.

Investigations Will Depend on the Reporting Agency

One of the first things that we need to point out is that every jurisdiction will have different agencies that look into dog bite incidents throughout the state. There is no overall dog bite law enforcement authority in Tennessee. When a dog bite gets reported, local law enforcement can respond, and local animal control authorities will handle the dog and the report. 

We bring this up to point out that some agencies may be more vigilant than others when it comes to conducting a thorough investigation into the dog bite. Additionally, please be aware that less severe injuries will not be as prioritized as severe dog bite cases.

We do understand, though, that individuals who have been the victims of dog attacks may want more information about what action has been put into place after they filed their initial report. As we mentioned above, it is not uncommon for dog bite incidents to simply be filed in a cabinet somewhere or an electronic database, and nothing further is done about it.

Not every dog bite incident is going to result in disciplinary action against a dog owner or their pet. In some cases, mistakes are made or the bite was an accident, and there is no need for any type of criminal action or euthanization of the dog. However, under Tennessee law, victims should be able to recover compensation through the dog’s homeowners insurance carrier, even if the dog owner was not negligent.

It is not uncommon after a dog attack for a dog to be placed in quarantine. Typically, this means that the dog is restricted to the owner’s home. The dog will not be allowed to go outside of the home or yard. The dog will also not be allowed to come into contact with other people outside of the owner’s household. In these cases, the dog will typically remain in the owner’s custody until a decision has been reached regarding the fate of the dog.

In some circumstances, a dog may be taken to a shelter, particularly if it has been deemed dangerous or after a severe incident. Additionally, if a dog’s owner is not following the quarantine restrictions for their pet after a dog bite or attack occurs, a dog could be impounded at a shelter.

In most situations, a dog will be allowed to continue to live with its owner after a bite incident occurs. However, if animal control deems that the dog is particularly dangerous, it may be ordered to be “destroyed” (euthanized). If you were attacked and bitten by a dog, contact a dog bite attorney in Tennessee for help through the process.