Did you have a relationship with this woman before? Usually its best to deal with these things face on and be as sympathic as you can be. I know its early but be prepared to document everything. I sure wish you the very best, please don't hesitate to let me know if I can help in anyway.
If the doctors office is closed for the day theres Urgent care facilities in alot of places that would work just fine for something like this. You might have to pay the bill and this is usually less expensive than the ER.
He is about 10. I have not tried to "sidestep" the issue. I went over to their house immediatly to check on him. I am always very careful with Dallas. He was not on a lead, we were in the backyard. I saw the adult but not the kid. I always am very aware of all my surroundings, but I guess it only takes one time. Next thing I know the kid is standing next to the fence sticking his hand accross it and Dallas nipped him, wasn't even really a nip as it was a scrape. But it unfortunatly it broke the skin and the mom has never liked Dallas from the getgo. So I am not sure what will happen.
Definitely have Dallas' shot records handy so you can show the neighbors he is current on his rabies shots and there's no threat or worry about their child contracting rabies.
Depending on what the laws are in your area, if the child sees a doctor they may need to report it as a dog bite. I'm not sure what happens in such a situation, but I believe that it would be reported to Animal Control and they would come out to your house to talk to you, see the dog, and get proof that he is current on his rabies shot.
Quite honestly, I personally would be extremely torn about what to do in this situation. Most people are suggesting that you should offer to pay for any hospital / medical bills that are arising from the situation which is morally the right thing to do. What I am not sure about is whether you would be legally required to pay their bills.
There's that part of me that wants to say, "Well, if dad was out there with the little boy, dad should have kept an eye on him and prevented him from sticking his hands through / over the neighbor's fence to touch / pet / bother / whatever the dog." Your dog was safely enclosed on your property. It's the boy who stuck his hand in while his father was ... doing what? Supervising?
Exactly what I am torn about also. The "dad" was feeding their dog (which is a whole nother story in itself). My records are handy. Privacy fence will be going up it was planned anyway, but not till next year. The worst part about this is that (not that I blame the kid) the family, kids included know Dallas does not like anyone and have been asked by me and told by the mom to stay away from the fence.
They are still gone which tells me they took him to an ER not a prompt care....
Just had to come back to check on this thread...good points from everyone. Do be prepared for a visit from Animal Control if the boy was taken to the doctor, I too believe it has to be reported. The privacy fence is an excellant idea. As a result of what happened to me and to keep my dogs safe, I had a 6 foot fence installed on the inside of my yard...I had it done to protect my dogs but oddly enough its made me feel even safer. No longer do I fear that something could happen with someone at the fence. I've lost use of alot of land but the value of the peace of mind is priceless.
so far nothing although I wouldn't put it past them to sue me still-or at least try. The truth was their dogs were loose (again) and completely unattended. They (there were two Pugs) came onto my property and my dog protected his property. Would I have wanted this to happen-NO. Did I want the little dog to suffer-NO. But it is not my responsibly to ensure the safety of a loose dog whos owners continue to violate the leash laws. My biggest concern which was partially realized when Animal control came to visit, was the pity some felt for the little dog who obviously got the worst of it (I have 3 GSDs) and less concerned with the fact that this dog was loose and on my property-of which my dogs were confimed (they couldn't squeeze thru the fence like the pugs did). Needless to say it was a nightmare. To ensure the safety of my dog (I'm not an attorney) I hired one at 375.00 per hour. I took off work to personally meet with the Sargent at the Humane society just to make absoulty postively sure there were-nor were there going to be any charges against my dog. Lastly, I installed a the fence I referred to two weeks after the incident.
I hear you! That is my biggest worry are the legal ramifications. I am pretty sure the boy is fine, I did see the wound. Basically the teeth scraped over the knuckle and ripped the skin. There were no other injurys or scrapes. I do have the luck of not only an attorney for a boss but she is also a current GSD owner as well as the prior owner of aggressive GSD's. So, we will see what she says tomorrow.