People often think that dog attacks are uncommon because dogs are our best friends and would never seriously harm us. This mindset leads people to underestimate the occurrence of dog attacks and overlook the easy steps to avoid such an incident. In reality dog attacks are a lot more common than we would like to think.
There are more than 52 million dogs in the United States. Approximately one-third of all homes have a dog as a pet. Based on these numbers, it should not be surprising that there are over 4.5 million dog bites each year and 334,000 that warrant treatment in a hospital according to the Center for Disease Control.
Breaking these numbers into smaller increments allows one to really appreciate their magnitude. There are 2,400 dog attacks every day, 100 each hour or one every 36 seconds. The victims must realize that their experiences are not isolated, and certainly not unique.
The most troubling aspect of dog attacks is how misunderstood the phenomenon is. Many people believe that dog attacks involve an unfortunate encounter between a person and a deranged and overly aggressive dog that meet randomly in an alley. In truth, 77 percent of biting dogs are owned by the victim’s family, a relative or a friend of the family. Also these dogs are not damaged, they are usually provoked unintentionally and attack in a fit of often justified anger. In recent months we have seen some dog attacks by police K9s in Hampton Roads.
People also fail to recognize the most vulnerable group when it comes to dog attacks: children. More than 50 percent of all dog bite victims are children and 26 percent of all children involved in such attacks need to go to the emergency room or see a doctor. According to the CDC, dog bites are a greater health problem for children than measles, mumps and whooping cough combined. They are more common than injuries from bike accidents, playground injuries, mopeds, skateboards or ATVs. The most common victims are boys aged 5 to 9 who are most frequently bit in the face, neck and head.
If you or a child that you know has been seriously injured by a dog, whose owner’s poor mishandling allowed the attack to occur, seek medical attention immediately because these wounds can often lead to traumatic complications down the road. Then you should call the Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077. People have a duty to keep a careful watch on their dogs and are responsible for any damage or injury they might cause. When it really counts, count on Cooper Hurley.