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While dogs are commonly known as “Man’s Best Friend”, there are certain breeds that inflict serious injury on humans and their canine counterparts. Nearly 75 million dogs live in the United States. 880,000 dog bite victims seek emergency medical care at hospitals in the U.S. annually according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States and the CDC estimates that there are nearly 4.5 million dog bites occurring yearly. More than 30,000 dog bite victims undergo reconstructive surgery each year to repair the damage caused by dog attacks.
In the 10 year period from 2005 to 2014, Pit Bulls killed 203 Americans and accounted for 62% of the total recorded deaths. Notably the most dangerous of breeds are Pitt Bulls and Rottweilers who are responsible for such injuries on an annual basis:
Dog breeds are characterized by their physical and behavioral traits and each breed was developed to perform a specific job. Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head.
When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people starting pitting their dogs against each other in dog fights. Therefore larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.
Therefore the responsible ownership of any dog requires a commitment to proper socialization, humane training and conscientious supervision. Pit Bull owners are encouraged to carry a break stick, for example to break the incredible bite of their pet in the event of an attack.
Laws that ban particular breeds of dogs do not achieve the aim of safety and instead create the illusion, but not the reality, of enhanced public safety. There are no statewide laws that discriminate based on dog breed and even the White House weighed in on the discussion. In 2013, President Obama stated: “[w]e don’t support breed-specific legislation—research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.”
Emergency personnel should always be called immediately because an attack can escalate from mild to vicious and deadly in an instant. If you can safely do so, you may attempt to intervene because the dog bite victim needs to be taken to a safe place away from the attacking dog to prevent further injury. This approach must be viewed with caution, however because many good Samaritans became victims themselves by trying to rescue others.
Victims must immediately be seen by a medical professional because a lot dog bites cause significant damage beneath the skin and the damage cannot always be visibly seen. Wounds should be closely monitored.
The victim should also obtain information about the dogs owners and responsible party(ies) and the dogs rabies, immunization and other relevant health records. Sometimes, information about previous bite history may also be needed.
There are many types of dog bite injuries that can occur when a victim is involved in a canine-related attack. Each type of injury holds it’s own unfortunate circumstances, creating hardship via the following:
Pay attention to your surroundings if you are in the presence of an aggressive dog, for the chance of an unexpected attack always remains an unpredictable possibility. Knowing various tips and skills on how to interpret a dog’s body language can be a life-saver.
Most victims of dog bite attacks remain in a state of shock in the wake of the aftermath of their accident. It’s important to immediately take action for your health as well as your legal rights.
Dog bite lawsuits can be pursued if the dog owner is at fault for the incident. If you or one a member of your party were actively provoking the dog into an attack, you may be held liable. Seeking personal injury consultation is highly recommended if you believe you are entitled to compensation for your canine-related attack. A dog bite lawyer can help you receive compensation for:
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