1055 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 200, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

Our West Des Moines Firm Recovers for Dog and Animal Bites

Holding owners accountable for their pets

Iowa laws impose obligations on property owners to keep the public safe from their pets, including dogs and exotic animals. If you were attacked after being invited onto a person’s property or mauled by an animal that escaped the property, you have a right to compensation. Typically, the person’s homeowners insurance covers dog bites, but it may not cover the illegal possession of a wild animal.

The Hope Law Firm, PLC holds West Des Moines property owners accountable for injuries visitors sustain during an unprovoked attack. Our team explores the avenues available for recovery, which may involve a third party in addition to the property owner. Our goal is to win the maximum compensation possible for animal attack injuries on property.

Injuries caused by animal attacks

Animals can inflict serious harm on humans, especially vulnerable elderly adults and young children. However, even fit adults can suffer permanent, debilitating injuries during an animal attack. Common injuries include:

  • Puncture wounds from fangs
  • Deep lacerations from teeth and claws
  • Multiple fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Severe scarring and disfigurement
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety disorders and phobias

In addition to these serious injuries, dog bites and other animal attacks sometimes result in death.

Iowa dog bite laws

The Iowa code holds owners liable for injuries inflicted by their dogs unless the person injured was engaged in an unlawful act that directly contributed to the attack. Furthermore, the owners are responsible for reporting a dog bite or attack to a local health or law enforcement agency. Violation of the dog statutes is a simple misdemeanor.

Iowa exotic pet laws

Some people inappropriately keep wild animals as pets. Big cats, bears, primates, reptiles and other wild animals continue to exhibit their natural healthy instincts while caged, including unprovoked attacks in some cases. Both the animal and the public are placed in grave danger. Not only is possessing an exotic pet perilous, but it is also illegal under Iowa’s statutes, except under specified conditions. Without a USDA license, which authorizes certain sanctuaries, dealers, breeders, farms, research facilities and fairs to have such animals, Iowa does not permit private possession of:

  • Large canines, including wolves, coyotes, and jackals
  • Wild felines, such as lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, ocelots and servals
  • Ursidae, such as bears and pandas
  • Rhinoceros and elephants
  • Primates, including marmosets, tamarins, monkeys, lemurs, great apes, gibbons and lesser apes
  • Crocodilia, such as alligators, caimans, crocodiles and gharials
  • Certain reptiles, such as cobras, mambas, coral snakes, rattlesnakes and copperheads

Organizations with licenses must abide by the strict codes governing the manner in which the animals are kept and handled.

Recover from the pet’s owner after a dog or wild animal attack

The Hope Law Firm, PLC helps victims of animal and dog attacks obtain compensation. Our Des Moines premises liability attorneys demand justice from negligent animal owners and those who illegally possess certain animals. To discuss your claim in detail, call our firm at 515.255.3559 or contact us online. We do not charge for the first appointment. Under our contingency plan, we also do not charge attorney fees unless we recover damages for your injuries.


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