Protecting The Rights Of Those Who Protect Our Communities

What should public safety officers know about animal attacks?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

The community often calls on public safety officers to assist beloved animal friends. For example, firefighters often rescue pets in peril, and police officers respond to animal cruelty complaints.

At other times, upset animals may attack citizens, who then call on emergency services for aid. These situations bring unique dangers that sworn public servants can recognize and anticipate.

The risk of attacks

California reports more deaths by animals than any other state except Texas. The prevalence of wild creatures means public safety officers should expect an animal encounter at some point in their careers. Though various rescue and control facilities exist in and around Woodland Hills, citizens often call police or firefighters first to deal with animal issues.

Another concern involves K-9 units. Though police dogs receive comprehensive training and are worthy of implicit trust, a canine partner may occasionally make a mistake and accidentally harm a human officer.

The possible aftermath of bites and scratches

A bite or scratch can have consequences beyond a flesh wound. An attack can cause the following issues:

  • Scars
  • Nerve or muscle damage
  • Broken bones
  • Rabies
  • Infection
  • Psychological trauma

A worker in California who experiences an injury while on the job, including an animal attack, may be able to receive workers’ compensation. Additionally, if the attacker is someone’s pet, the owner might be liable for the violent behavior if the injured individual did not provoke the animal and was in the location legally.

Animal dangers are a reality of public service. Law enforcement officers and firefighters can educate themselves on the risks animals can pose and how to cope with the aftermath of an attack.