If you or a member of your family is hurt in a dog bite incident in Tennessee, you should report the animal (and the owner) to your local government animal control office. For residents of Franklin, that means calling the Williamson County Animal Center. If you are unsure which animal control authority has jurisdiction, you can call the sheriff’s office or local police and ask them to come to the place where you were injured. They will likely contact the appropriate animal control center to follow up on the case.
The Role of Animal Control Officers in Your Dog Bite Injury Claim
Any dog attack reported to animal services will be investigated by Animal Control Officers (ACOs). The officers have the ability to:
- Seize stray animals. ACOs have a duty to protect the public by enforcing any state laws and local ordinances pertaining to stray pets, dogs running at large, and other uncontrolled animals.
- Question owners. Most animal control departments will send an officer to investigate a dog bite within 24 hours of the attack. The ACO may meet with the owner, ask to see the dangerous animal, and explain the potential consequences for the dog and owner resulting from the incident. The officer may also evaluate the dog’s habitat and living conditions and ask for proof of current rabies vaccinations or other veterinary records.
- Quarantine dangerous animals. If the attack led to hospitalization or involved a child, ACOs are permitted to take the dog to a local shelter for quarantining and observation. In some cases, dogs may be kept at the shelter until the resolution of an injury case.
- Create a report. The ACO will fill out a report containing the details of the incident, the current status of the dog, and recommendations for the owner and animal. You should get a copy of this report, as it can be vital evidence in your claim.
While reporting the bite can stop another attack from happening in the future, it won’t get you compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Only a personal injury lawsuit can get you the settlement or judgment you need to recover from the incident.
GriffithLaw can gather evidence on your behalf and advise you on your next steps, and we do not collect any payment until we secure a recovery. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to set up a free initial consultation.