For the most part, dogs are loving, loyal creatures. Yet, dog bites still happen.
Dog owners have a duty to care for their dogs by providing food, shelter and water. They also have a duty to the community to keep their dog properly leashed, trained or restrained so that they cannot bite or hurt people.
Need for quarantine
In Ohio, a dog that has bitten a person must quarantine to observe for rabies. The quarantine period is typically 10 days, but may be different depending on the board of health in the county where the dog bite happened. Local ordinances may be more strict.
An exception to the rule
This rule does not apply if killing the dog after a dog bite prevents further injuries or if the dog is seriously diseased or injured. If a person kills a dog that has bitten someone before a quarantine period occurs, they must immediately notify the local board of health, explain why they killed the dog and hold the body of the dog until the board of health can test it for rabies.
Risk of rabies
The purpose of the quarantine is to watch for signs of rabies. If a dog owner has not been vigilant about keeping up-to-date with vaccinations, the risk of rabies from a dog bite is real. Rabies is treatable if caught early, but can be fatal if not. It is a good idea to seek medical attention after any bite that breaks the skin so medical professionals can assess your risk and treat you if needed.
Depending on the severity of the bite and the physical and psychological injuries a person has suffered, the victim of a dog bite may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the dog owner.