A pack of six dogs were loose, running down Interstate 17 at Grand in Phoenix on Monday, December 11, 2018. Four of the dogs were caught while two escaped. None were hit by cars, but drivers had to swerve and brake hard to avoid them.
While it is unusual to see a pack of dogs on a busy road, it’s not unusual to see dogs off-leash in parks, neighborhoods, and city centers. And while off-leash dogs can pose a traffic hazard and put drivers at risk of getting into car accidents, loose dogs also pose a bite risk to pedestrians, bicyclists, and people’s pets.
So how can you keep yourself and your pets safe? Here are a few tips to follow:
–Always remain alert and keep your eyes on the road while driving. You never know when loose dogs or other animals could stray into the road.
–While biking and walking, be aware of any loose dogs. It might be a good idea to invest in a can of pepper spray in case you are approached by an aggressive dog. Pepper spray is legal to purchase, use, and carry for self-defense in the state of Arizona, and could mean the difference between a serious dog bite or not.
–If you are walking your own dog, be aware of any loose dogs and avoid them by choosing another street, or at least crossing to the other side. Use an authoritative voice and confident body posture and say, “no” and “go home” if they try to approach. Consider carrying pepper spray if you are worried about stray dogs in your area.
–If you are walking near a home with aggressive dogs in a fenced yard, it is still a good idea to cross the street. Dogs can sometimes jump fences and escape, so don’t give them any reason to try.
–Never trespass on private property. In Arizona, if a dog bites you while you are trespassing, the owner may not be liable for the bite.
–Alert authorities, such as the police and animal control, if you see a stray or if you are attacked. Get yourself and your wounded pet medical attention immediately.
If you or your pet is bitten by another dog, it’s important to contact Samuel P. Moeller, PLLC immediately. Arizona is a “strict liability” state, meaning that if a dog bites, the owner can be held responsible even if the dog has never harmed anyone before. But your case must be filed within a short time period, so reach out to a Phoenix dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.