Shows like CSI and Law & Order have really set an expectation in some people that science can be used to determine pretty much anything in an injury case. While some of the science used in the shows is far and away from what can actually be done in forensics, when it comes to a dog attack, scientists and investigators can use certain methods to figure out which dog actually bit.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
Collect any dog hair. Any dog hair that got on the victim’s clothes can be used in forensic testing to determine what dog was involved in the dog attack. Scientists use microscopes to check the victim’s found dog hair to the dog hair of the suspected dog. They can also see if the mitochondrial DNA (collected from the mitochondria) matches.
Any saliva that was left by the dog should be collected. If the saliva made it onto the victim’s clothes, make sure to save that piece of clothing. The collected saliva can be used to see if it matches the nuclear DNA (collected from the cell’s nucleus) of the suspected dog.
Forensic scientists can try to match up the bite wound to the dog’s teeth. Suspected dogs can be brought in and matched up with scans of the victim’s wound to provide a possible match. Usually this can be enough to prove a certain dog attack.
As for the suspected dog itself, blood and clothing fibers can be transferred to the dog’s fur during the attack that match the victim’s blood and clothing. This is a lot harder to obtain after the dog attack considering most dogs that run freely around will run away once someone else intervenes during the attack. However, if suspected owners of the dog are negligent, there may still be blood and clothing fibers on the dog.
Are you facing growing medical bills due to a dog attack? The Advocates have expert dog bite attorneys on call day and night who can discuss the course of your possible case. The moment you call you will be connected to an attorney. The best part is they don’t see any money until you do! Call today for a free and confidential consultation!