Advocates For Dog Owners Who Face Lawsuits
If your dog has just bit or caused injury to another dog or child, you know there will be consequences. For the dog, there may be impoundment, quarantine, a dangerous dog designation, or even euthanasia. You may face a criminal charge, a variety of fines and out-of-pocket costs, and even a civil lawsuit.
There are a variety of reasons a dog might attack or bite, including when provoked or based on fear, aggression, physical pain, or because the dog is trying to protect you. One dog may misread another dog’s signals. Behaviors of an aggressive dog may include growling, snarling, baring teeth, lunging, and biting. In contrast, a fearful dog might avoid eye contact, stay low to the ground, hold her ears flat and back, tremble, or hold his tail low and between his legs. A fearful dog may also growl or bare his teeth before biting.
It is wise to immediately call Barbara J. Gislason in these situations. Based upon her many years of experience as an animal lawyer, she can advise you about your constitutional and legal rights, help you devise an action plan, and present your best face in a complex and difficult situation. She can also help you develop a defense and introduce you to behavioral experts and trainers that can become part of your team. For example, a provocation defense may include someone interfering with a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Barbara works closely with qualified canine trainers, experts, and dog behaviorists.
Barbara utilizes a hands-on approach. She will accompany you to legal proceedings and advocate your side, or, if applicable, advise you with regard to making insurance and other claims. She serves clients statewide, including in Anoka County, Hennepin County and Ramsey County.
If your pet has been subject to a dog bite or attack, Barbara can help you understand the intricacies of the legal system, including how to utilize animal control, investigators, veterinarians, and other experts so that you may obtain a just result that promotes future safety.
As early as possible, it is important for you to work with Barbara to obtain the names and contact information of witnesses. You will work together to gather the appropriate records, too. It is important to understand the difference between a call to animal control or the police and what evidence is necessary when planning to initiate a lawsuit. Barbara will help you find out if the attacking dog was already subject to a dangerous dog designation or if the dog’s owner or handler has a criminal history. She will also help you develop an action plan to achieve the just result you seek.
For more than a century, dogs in Minnesota were entitled to what the law called “one free bite.” Now, when a dog gets in trouble for even the first time, the dog and the dog’s owner may find themselves facing a dangerous dog declaration under the Minnesota state law, as well as under a local ordinance. As no two cases are alike, it is wise to have a consultation with Barbara Gislason at the earliest possible time. She can help you appropriately interact with animal control and other law enforcement officers, as well as help you devise a plan to increase the odds of a positive outcome.
In addition to a dangerous dog proceeding, you may be subject to a separate criminal or civil action. Barbara will help you evaluate and minimize your risk factors.
Dog parks come in all shapes and sizes, just as the dogs that visit them do. Small dogs, geriatric dogs, and animals more likely to be viewed by other dogs as prey may face additional risks. If you have a particularly vulnerable dog, it may be best to avoid dog parks altogether. Some dog parks have separate fenced areas for small dogs.
A positive aspect of a dog park is it affords all manner of socialization for dogs with other canines and people. Dogs socialized in dog parks may have fewer problems in a new environment than dogs with little contact with anyone outside of their owner. Even so, with all the excitement and activity in a dog park, combined with inattentive owners busy on social media, behaviors can escalate quickly, and a dog can be accidentally or deliberately injured by another. While in a dog park, do your best to keep your dog in sight and train your dog to be responsive to your “come” call so if a dangerous situation develops, you can keep your dog safe.
During a “pile on” situation in a dog park, it is difficult to be objective about dog signaling, who started the fight, and who bit first. While avoiding this situation is the best advice, if your dog gets bitten or injures another dog or person, legal consequences can escalate fast, and perhaps more so for dogs already perceived by some as a vicious breed. For example, a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix may be innocent in an altercation but be blamed for the event because of biases against the dog breed that impact others’ perception.
Before going to a dog park, learn as much as you can about the park and whether it is known to be safe or one where dogs are often hurt. If your companion animal ends up hurt or in trouble, it is a good idea to call Barbara Gislason for legal advice at your earliest opportunity. She can help you ascertain your risks and develop a sound strategy to reduce them. Barbara can also help you achieve justice.
Talk to a Pioneer in Animal Law Issues
To benefit from one of the country’s most accomplished animal attorneys, call the Twin Cities Law Office of Barbara J. Gislason in Anoka County at 763-220-2983 or toll free at 800-491-6432, or email the firm to arrange a consultation.