Is Norfolk, VA a One-Free-Dog-Bite City?
Only 16 states still have the one-bite law in effect. Virginia along with states such as Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, and New Mexico do not hold an owner responsible for bite-related injuries if the dog has not previously bitten or acted aggressively towards another individual. Most states hold the dog's owner liable for any injuries regardless of the animal's prior behavior.
Most municipalities require that an animal to human injury be reported to animal control. However, Norfolk, VA's animal control laws require that the Department of Public Health be informed. Removal of the pet, if necessary, is the responsibility of the Animal Protection Unit of the Second Patrol Division of the City Police Department.
How to Contact the Department of Public Health
The Norfolk Department of Public Health is located at 830 Southampton Avenue, Suite 200, Norfolk, VA 23510. Their phone number is (757) 683-2800. They can be reached by email using a link located on their website. The operating hours are 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
How to Contact the Animal Protection Unit
|Address||2500 N Military Highway, Norfolk, VA 23510|
|Phone Number||Second Patrol Division at 757-823-4479
Police dispatch at 757-441-5610
The Unit is available seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Emergency requests can be made through police dispatch.
How to Report a Dog Bite Incident in Norfolk, VA?
How to report a dog bite depends on the severity of the bite. If it requires medical attention, the attending physician should file a report with the Department of Public Health. If no professional medical assistance is required, you should report the incident to the Department and to Norfolk’s animal control center. If you want to receive compensation for the injury, you need to file a report to substantiate your injury claims.
So what should you do if you or someone you know is bitten by a dog?
- Make sure to seek medical assistance, if necessary.
- Ask the medical professionals if they will be filing a report.
- File a report if necessary by going to the Department of Public Health's website.
- Select Rabies Information for Healthcare Providers.
- Download the Animal Exposure Form.
- Complete the form.
- Email, fax, or mail the form to the Department.
Someone from the Department of Public Health should contact you for further information.
What Happens to the Animal?
The Department of Public Health should notify the Animal Protection Unit regarding the incident; however, you may want to contact the unit directly. Once the group is notified, they will investigate the incident. Based on their examination, the animal may be quarantined for ten days or euthanized. If the unit determines that the dog is no threat to humans, it is left with its owner. Because Virginia follows the one-bite rule, the first aggressive act does not require mandatory euthanization.
Is the Owner Liable for Injury-related Damages?
According to Virginia animal control laws, the owner is not liable for injury-related expenses, if the dog bite is the animal's first incident. Once owners know that their animals bite or behave aggressively which could result in a bite, they are liable for damages. The burden falls on the victim to prove the animal had a history of aggressive or vicious behavior.
How to Collect Damages?
If it is the animal's first offense, the owner does not have to pay for any damages; however, you can request compensation. If the dog has a history of aggressive behavior, the owner is liable. You can collect damages by one of the following methods:
- Contacting the owner to negotiate a settlement.
- Contacting an attorney to negotiate a settlement.
- Taking the owner to court.
If you find yourself taking the owner to court, DoNotPay's Sue Now product can help.
How DoNotPay Can Help Report an Animal-Related Injury
DoNotPay can report an animal-related injury to the Department of Public Health or send the pet owner notification of a request for compensation. Just use the following three steps:
- Search "animal" on DoNotPay, find the Animal Control product, and select whether you've sustained a physical injury.
- Select whether you would like to report this incident to your local government agency, or demand compensation from the pet owner.
- Tell us more about the incident, including when and where you were injured, a description of the animal that caused the injury, and the contact information for the pet owner (if known).
And that's it! DoNotPay will file the demand letter or government report with your incident details. You just need to wait for a response.
Why Use DoNotPay?
Filing a report is probably the last thing on your mind after suffering a dog bite. That's where DoNotPay can help. Its service is:
- Fast. Filing a report is fast. Just answer a few questions and DoNotPay takes care of completing and submitting the form.
- Convenient. You can complete the three easy steps anywhere there's an internet connection, even while relaxing in your favorite chair.
- Reliable. DoNotPay has helped hundreds of people receive the services they deserve, and they can help you.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay's service is not limited to a specific county or state. The service can help file injury reports with government offices and agencies. It can help you sue for compensation in small claims court no matter where you live. DoNotPay can help with animal-related injuries in Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Miami. It can also explain the dog bite laws in states such as Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio.