Responsible Dog Ownership

Among companion animals, dogs are unmatched in their devotion and friendship to us; that being said, owning a dog is not a privilege—it is a responsibility. Dog owners should train and socialize their dogs in order to protect people from harm.  Owners are liable for injuries that their dog inflicts upon others, especially if they choose to neglect the necessary precautions that come with dog ownership. In addition to proper care and training, here are some steps to take if you’re a dog owner: –       Let an experienced professional dog trainer treat aggressive dogs. –       Never let a dog run loose. –       Keep your dog’s vaccinations current. –       Keep your dog out of strangers’ paths. –       Purchase homeowner’s insurance, which covers most dog bite injuries. The New York Times reported on May 22 that dog bite claims account for more than a third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims paid out. This proportion has remained constant over the last decade, hovering at around 15,000 claims annually according to the Insurance Information Institute. “If your dog bites somebody, you are liable,” said Robert Hartwig III, the president of the institute. The institute, along with other organizations like the United States Postal Service, is publicizing dog bite statistics to highlight National Dog Bite Prevention Week. To prevent dog bites, experts offer these tips: –       Learn about suitable dog breeds from professionals. –       Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it, and use caution when bringing a           dog into a home with an infant. –       Have your dog spayed or neutered. –       Seek professional advice if your dog develops aggressive behavior. –       Discourage children from bothering a dog when it is eating or sleeping. The Centers            for Disease Control and Prevention says more than half of the 4.7 million American            bitten by dogs annually are children. –       Never approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined, and avoid             eye contact with a dog that appears threatening. –       Don’t run past a dog. –       If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your                 hands. If you or a member of your family has been bitten by a dog, contact us immediately for a free appraisal.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP