Well Ok... Dog Bit

Updated on May 11, 2013
C.Z. asks from Manning, IA
27 answers

My baby, just bit the mail man while I was at work.. I have made the heart breaking choice to have him euthanized. I am sitting here at work balling my eyes out and could use your encouragement. How did a perfectly nice dog bite so suddenly?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

ETA i was told by the police because he drew blood he needs to be put down. So I guess I have no choice.

ETA2- 1- it is law that if a dog draws blood they have to be put down. The mail may has 14 stitches. 2- I have four kids in that house that I have to worry more about than my dog. Yes, I love my dog. But my nephews and my son mean more to me. It hurts like hell but it is the law and it is another persons safety over my wants.

ETA3- this is my blood hound that was adopted only 3 months ago. I could not take the Weim with me when I moved. There are no medical issues with him. Just pissed off today I guess.

ETA 4 - When I moved to my sisters he was let out the back door into the fenced in dog area... Someone let him out( and all the rest of the dogs)

I talked to the vet and the sheriff. In the city licensing it does state that if a dog draws blood it is demanded to be euthanized. There is no fighting a signed paper.

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answers from Washington DC on

Ooh girlfriend, I am soo sorry.

However, 14 stitches? That's not just a "bite" that's trouble.

How did it happen? I don't know. I wasn't there and don't know what happened...even if he was provoked....that bite is serious.

Hugs to you. I am sooo sorry!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Bad mood?
Past life issues?
We're there kids around? Dogs are protective of kids they live with.

Who knows.

Sad for the dog. He shouldn't have had access to the mailman.
Was he tethered in the yard? Running free? Did he lunge out the door?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Wait a second, there. You don't have to euthanize a dog, after one bite. The thing is, dogs can't talk! They have so much they can do to communicate. What is the full story, here? What happened when the dog bit? An unknown person coming on to your property, is a reason a dog feels the need to protect. Was this a new mailman? Did the mailman try to swat at, or kick your dog? Did the mailman speak, yell, or act aggressively? Did he run at the dog, or throw something? WHAT happened before the bite?

A perfectly nice dog will bite, if they feel they or their property is being threatened. A dog biting a stranger, does not always equal a dog with aggression issues. You really do need to know what happened.

ETA: Did the police say that it's the LAW he has to be put down? Here, they will put the dog in quarantine for 10 days and if the dog shows aggression, they will tell you to put down. Unless they are saying it's the only LEGAL option, they were [probably telling you what they think you "should" do. Call animal service and see the legality of this.

17 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

There is not enough information in your post. What exactly were the circumstances?

Honestly I have never owned a dog that I could totally trust would NOT bite the mailman. How did your dog have access to the post person and why is it his fault if he did have access and was just protecting his property?

I have never heard of a law forcing the owner to euthanize after a single bite, especially if they were protecting their property.

ADDED: Is this the same dog you wrote about that is not even a year old yet? The one you said will eventually go blind? You don't put a puppy down under the circumstances you describe, you're leaving details out.

ADDED 2: You got rid of the puppy (that was going to go blind) when you moved and then you immediately got another dog? Your new dog somehow got access to the mail man and in a likely effort to protect YOU and your property he bit what he thought was an intruder. Now you're putting him down. I think people are more important than dogs too, when given no other options the person's safety must come first but dogs also deserve responsible and loving owners who will properly care for, train and protect them. Please do not get another dog!

17 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

ADD - Hugs to you in this tough time.

Original: DO NOT SCHEDULE THIS until you have more information. I would totally check with animal control and find out EXACTLY what the rules are on this. Let the courts decide if it comes to it.

http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusiast351_1_43.htm - this does not seem to indicate that euthanisia is required. It looks like if a dog were ATTACKING, that force could be used. The policeman is wrong. Find an attorney, contact animal control, contact your vet. Pay for the postman's doctor bill.


Obviously it's bad that the postman got bitten, but they ARE strangers and dogs are territorial. It could be bad luck that some other dog was near yours just before the postman showed up and your dog was still in defense mode.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I too would investigate more before jumping to this conclusion. I would wait for the courts to make that decision, not you.

Okay, I would still wait for a judge to make that call - not the police. Did they take the dog right away? Are they doing it right away?

Loss of a dog is never easy, especially when it is like this - I would still investigate this before allowing the dog to be put down.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I love animals, but I agree with your choice. I don't know if this is the law or a strongly suggested rule of thumb to euthanize if a dog draws blood, but since there is now a documented case you are wise not keep such a liability. You have to put your family first. I'm sure you feel horrible. I've been there. Not the same situation, but I put down my unadoptale cat when he turned out to not only be unsociable, but to also have a medical condition that I was not willing to pay for and that caused him to mess all over the house. He was a rescue to begin with. And yes I felt horrible. The day I did it was one of the worst days of my life. I bought him his own rotisserie chicken and let him munch off it on my kitchen counter tops all day. Its okay to put humans before animals. Its a wise choice, especially in your case.

The alternative it to put animals before people. I have some family members like this. They have nearly destroyed their marriages by putting animals above spouses. My sister allowed her diabetic cat to destroy her home (with urine) to live out its full natural life. To hard core animal lovers there is a tendency to project human traits onto animals that isn't actually there. You will encounter some feed back from these hard cores. So I want to affirm you again, its okay to put humans before animals.

And if it makes you feel better, I was present when we euthanized one of my cats and it is so fast and painless. (I also know of a person who tried to commit suicide by injecting himself with the meds he stole from the vet and while he lived to tell the tail, said the medication was nothing but euphoric- no pain)

I would look into one other options though. I know of people who take in animals that can't be trusted to have much human contact, but can be cared for and fed at an animal sanctuary. There are so few people who do this and so many animals that fit this description, I have no doubt you'd have difficulty finding a sanctuary for your pet, but you could try.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Were you informed by animal control why the dog bit? Or are you deciding to put him down because he bit? If you have not been mandated to do it, you need to figure out what happened. How bad was the bite? What were the circumstances? Etc? For example, my SS's dog bit him and SS needed stitches. SS was 14 or so and fully admits that he was wrestling with the dog in a manner he was told not to and the dog got overexcited. The dog has had no other aggression issues.

ETA: I'm sorry that you are going to lose your dog. I would ask if the vet could come to my house to make it as comfortable as possible. I would also find out how the dog got out and NOT get a new dog unless that was corrected. The dog is going to die in part because someone let him out of an enclosed area, correct? So either someone in your household was not responsible or someone in your neighborhood let him out. You need to know.

You also said, "and all the rest of the dogs". So was a pack involved?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Wow - such varied answers and some harsh ones... I really love dogs but you're doing the right thing. You have kids and you've only had the dog for 3 months so you can't really be sure if this was a one time thing or not. I'm sorry you have to do this but I just posted yesterday how quick and painless euthanasia for animals is. Give him a hug and a nice treat and it'll be over in 2 seconds. No pain for him...

7 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I love dogs.....

But I couldn't agree more with Elyse. Dogs are animals, not people. If it bites someone, it should be put to sleep. We cannot even predict how humans will act on a regular basis, let alone animals. Just because a dog has never bitten means very little to me. You cannot trust them, they are animals.

Put yourself in the mailman's position. What if it were a child he bit? If a dog gets loose or is otherwise unsupervised without the owner and bites someone, that is the owner's fault. I am sorry you are having to deal with this but maybe a cat is a better fit for you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

So sorry that you are having to make this type of decision. I do have to agree that 14 stitches sounds like a pretty big bite. However it is extra sad because had it not been for the irresponsible actions of those that swore to care for this animal this situation would have never happened.

I would definitly check with a few bloodhound rescue groups to see if giving him over to one of them would be an option.

This is probably also going to sound harsh but I really think that maybe you should seriously think before you get anymore animals. When we take an animal into our family you are making a commitment for the life of that animal to care for, love and protect that animal. You said that you could not take your Weim with you and yet you just adopted another dog and you are obviously staying somewhere where several dogs are residing. why exactly couldn't you take the weim with you?

I have moved over 10 times with pets and I have NEVER gotten rid of a pet. I may have to rent a house that is not quite as nice or I may have to pay a little more or commute farther to work etc. but I agreed to make those choices when I chose to have animals. I also make sure that my animals are secured at all times to keep them safe.

Again I am sorry that you are having to make this decision but I do think that you should.consider some of these other points before getting another animal of any type.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Call a blood hound rescue organization and tell them the situation. They may be able to intervene and may have an attorney that works with them. I understand wanting to get the dog out of your house, but it does seem like this may well be an issue that could be resolved without euthanasia. You may be able to surrender the dog to the rescue and let them fight the legal battle. There are people who are willing and able to do that, particularly for specific breeds they love.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Is euthanization the only option? Was it a bad bite? Was the dog provoked?

I was bitten by two dogs several years ago when I was out walking one morning. They were my neighbors dogs. The dogs were territorial, and I was on the street in front of their property; the dogs saw it as their property. The dogs were quarantined for 2 weeks, and my neighbors paid my medical bills. They also agreed to keep the dogs fenced from that point on, and they have done that. Everything was worked out amicably, and I have no ill will toward my neighbors, or the dogs.

I'm so sorry for your mailman, and for what you are dealing with. I hope you don't have to euthanize the dog.

*Police were involved in my situation, too, but maybe it's different here (Texas). I would certainly inquire more before proceeding if I were you. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

oh my dear. i am so sorry.
who knows why he did it? we had a beagle mutt who showed up at our house as a horribly abused and dumped puppy, so we kept him. he was the best dog in the world, but he had an ironclad aversion to big round men. it was a shame for one of my brothers who is that shape, and for our neighbor, both nice men but they clearly triggered something in our dog. he didn't bite, but he barked relentlessly, snarled, and (in the case of our neighbor) crapped on his front porch any time he could get loose. your mailman was a trigger for something in his past.
my heart goes out to you and your kids.
ETA i'm also sorry that so many people are blaming you. yes, human error often contributes to these situations, but even thoughtful, responsible dog owners can end up with dogs that have aggressive tendencies, and sometimes dogs get loose. please try not to let the guilt-trippers make an already painful situation worse.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sorry this happened and that you have to put the dog down.

Prepare your sister - she will probably have to open a claim with her homeowners carrier to pay the doctor bills. If she rents, then you need to b prepared to pay them.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I would want more information before making such a decision. Where/how did this occur? If you are at work and the mailman was deliverying mail, how did your dog get access to the mailman? Was he provoked? Was he playing?

Is the euthanization a requirement of the law? If it's not a law and especially if your dog was provoked in some way, I would not take such action. If it isn't a law but it was an aggressive attack, I would.

We need more info to answer your question. You need more info to make a decision (maybe you have it but I don't see enough in your post).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Any dog with teeth will bite if sufficiently provoked. It's the owner's job to make sure he isn't put ins situations where he is provoked.
How was the dog able to get to the mailbox if you weren't home? If he was not confined, then you must accept part of the blame for him having gotten bitten.
In my area, dogs are quarantined by a vet for 10 days after biting someone and observed for signs of rabies. If they are clear, then they are released to the owner.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

isnt this dog still a puppy (less than a year?)

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answers from Denver on

I am so sorry to hear this. I totally understand how dogs slip out of the house sometimes. My pants would catch fire if I said my dogs had never slipped out. This is every pet owners nightmare.

As you've only had the dog for 3 months, there was no way to know his tempermant yet. Sometimes it just happens. Our dear friends many years ago had to put their dog down after it bit a kid. It didn't matter that the dog was kenneled at the time, and that the kid it bit was throwing rocks at it, poking it with a stick, and had his hand throught the kennel when he got bit. Still had to put the dog down. Zero recourse.

Like DH always reminds me, "fair" is a 4 letter word that starts with "f". My condolences to you and your family. Hope the mail man is ok too. He probably feels just as bad despite being the victim.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

It doesn't sound like you have a choice. He MUST be euthanized. Perfectly nice dogs don't maul mailmen to the point of forcing the to get 14 stitches. I can tell you that A.) because of the law you won't be able to surrender him to a shelter and B.) even if the law allowed it, they would refuse to take him because he's a known, documented biter and he's dangerous to everyone including family.

Once he's euthanized you need to ask them to perform a necropsy (an autopsy for animals) if it isn't automatic. If there wasn't an environmental trigger, there could have been a medical trigger. I wouldn't assume human fault/error here. However, since it sounds like there are other dogs in that house please have someone from animal control come and check out the security of that enclosure.

You're VERY VERY VERY lucky that the dog didn't maul a small child.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You might want to talk to a lawyer.
If the dog has never bit anyone before, it would be unusual to have him put down after one incident (and he's not sick).
You might be liable for the medical expenses of the injured party (whether the dog dies or not).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

How did your dog (who is inside the house, correct? Because you crate trained him, etc) bite the mailman when no one is home? I'm confused. How was your dog outside to have access to anyone to bite them?


So he was in a fenced in dog area in the back yard? Why was the post man in there with "all the other dogs" and him? Sounds like a bad idea on the postman's part, wouldn't you say? Where is your mailbox--inside this fenced in dog area also?

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answers from Anchorage on

It is so sad that so many dogs get killed because of human error :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry this happened. Have you checked the link that Laurie gave? I did a quick glimpse and didn't see what you are referring.

Anyway, sometimes things just happen. Perhaps the mailman did something that the dog took as a threat, he is an animal. I would assume if the mailman needed 14 stitches it was a pretty bad bite.

I think you did the right thing to put your children first. Just keep telling yourself that. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING.

Sorry you had to make such a hard decision.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I am so sorry for you. I went through the same thing a year ago.

After talking to 2 vets, the humane society, a pet rescue, a dog trainer and an attorney I knew the dog had to be put down.

The sad thing is even if you re-home the dog and warn the new owner the dog had a bite history YOU are still liable if the dog bites again. You can be sued for any medical expenses, loss of wages, (and hopefully not) funeral expenses and wrongful death. You could face a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

Anyway that is how an attorney explained it to me according to Wisconsin laws.

You have to protect yourself and your kids. But it is still sad.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

There are other options. Talk to your vet before you do anything. I assume they impounded the dog. right? It'll cost but you can have the dog quarantined for a set amount of days and I think they draw blood and do some other things.
Is your dog vaccinated? Do you have proof of such? If so, then you should be safe.
Good luck.

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