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How to Report a Dog Bite in Colorado

October 28, 2022

If you get attacked by a dog in Colorado, it is important to report the incident to the proper authorities. Your local animal control authority needs this information to track potentially dangerous dogs in the area. Reporting the dog bite can help others in the future if the dog continues to injure people by establishing a pattern of vicious behavior. It can also lay the groundwork for a dog bite injury claim in Colorado by documenting the attack.

How to Report a Dog Bite in Colorado

Notify the Local Animal Control Agency

If the situation is urgent, call 911 immediately to report the attack and request paramedics. Otherwise, contact the animal control agency in the county where the bite took place. Colorado Revised Statute 25-4-603 requires victims (and pet owners) to report domestic animal bites that break the skin to Animal Control within 12 hours.

If the dog bite injury occurred in Denver, for example, you would call Denver Animal Protection at (720) 913-1311 to explain what happened. You can also file your report online through their website. Give the agency a summary of what happened, a description of the dog, the pet owner’s information and any other relevant details in your report. Make a copy for your own records.

Report the attack as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your mind. Once the attack has been reported, the dog will be placed on a 10-day quarantine to check for rabies, regardless of whether the dog has been vaccinated. The quarantine period can be done at the pet owner’s home, a local veterinary hospital or the Denver Animal Shelter.

See a Doctor

A dog’s mouth is filled with bacteria that could cause an infection if a dog bite breaks the skin. It is important to have your wound professionally cleaned by a health care practitioner after being attacked by a dog in Colorado. Wound debridement, cleaning and antibiotics can prevent illnesses and infections. You may also need to receive a rabies shot to protect you from this disease.

When you visit a doctor for a dog bite injury, the medical facility is required to report the incident to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. The doctor will give the department all of the details of the incident, so be sure to communicate them fully to your physician. Keep copies of your medical records and any notes or transcripts from your doctor, as well as medical bills and receipts.

What Happens After You Report a Dog Bite?

After you report a dog bite, Animal Control will quarantine the dog and investigate. If the dog inflicted serious bodily injuries, it may be deemed dangerous. This will require the pet owner to take additional steps to prevent future attacks, such as using a muzzle when walking the dog in public and registering the dog on the state’s dangerous dog directory.

In a severe case, the pet owner may face misdemeanor or felony charges for a dog attack. A dangerous dog may also be confiscated and placed in a shelter, depending on the circumstances. It is rare for Colorado to euthanize an animal after biting someone, but this is a possibility in the most severe cases. If so, the pet owner will have the chance to appeal the court’s decision.

Bring a Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit

Once you’ve reported the dog bite and seen a doctor, the next step is to contact a personal injury attorney about a potential injury claim. In Colorado, the dog bite law holds pet owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs when the victim is on public property or lawfully on private property. This is true even if the dog had never bitten anyone previously. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. An attorney can review your case and tell you if it has merit. If so, your lawyer can take care of the legal paperwork and filing process on your behalf.