Georgia Animal Shelter Employee Attacked by Dog
A Dekalb County Animal Shelter employee is currently recovering following a dog attack in the office, according to WSB TV. Shelter employees report that the pit bull mix dog jumped out of its collar and over a gate. An employee happened to be walking by and fell down. For some reason, when the employee fell, the dog snapped and began attacking her. The situation required other employees and a bucket of water being splashed at the dog to cause the dog to halt its attack of the frightened employee.
The dog had been in the shelter for over three months when he was moved up to the front to be an office dog. Employees report that office dogs are common and it was not due to overcrowding. The shelter currently houses about 300 dogs, though it was originally designed for 150. The employee who was attacked is back at home. She required multiple stitches but luckily will be able to use her arm again. She was sad to hear that the dog involved had to be euthanized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 4.7 million dog attacks occur across the United States annually. Of these attacks, nearly 800,000 victims will require medical care. Victims are often forced to go to the emergency room for treatment of serious injuries and thousands must be hospitalized. The most severe dog attacks result in death, and children are some of the most common dog bite victims.
Animal Care Workers are at Risk of Injury or Death
This is hardly the first time an animal care worker has been harmed by an animal in their care. Last year, in Florida, an employee at a local animal shelter was seriously mauled by a dog on the way to be euthanized. The dog suddenly attacked the animal specialist, latching onto her leg until fellow employees could pry it off.
Animal care workers come into close contact with animals of unknown backgrounds on a daily basis. While most animals are docile and simply in need of loving homes, a select few will suffer from serious behavioral issues that can be exacerbated by shelter conditions. Shelters must take steps to protect employees and future adopters from potentially dangerous animals. Injured shelter employees should be eligible for workers' compensation benefits and at times can even seek compensation outside of the workers' compensation system if a third-party is responsible for a person's injuries. Anyone else injured by a dog can also bring a personal injury action.
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