When dogs attack, children are most frequently the victims. I was horrified to read about an attack over the weekend when a 5-year-old girl was savaged by dogs in the 500 block of Margaret Drive in my home town of Chesapeake.
WAVY.com reported the attack occurred when the victim was with her mother at a home of family friends. She was reported to have been bitten in the neck when she was playing with the dogs. She had to be airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General for treatment of serious injuries.
Chesapeake Police said the breed of the two dogs involved in the attack is Belgian Malinois.
An investigation is underway at present. The two dogs are currently in the custody of Chesapeake Animal Control. My thoughts are with this young girl and her family. I hope she makes a speedy recovery.
While serious dog attacks like this one make headlines, there are many others that slip under the radar. There are more than 52 million dogs in homes in the United States. As many as a third of us have a dog as a pet. Based on these numbers, we should not be surprised that there are over 4.5 million dog bites each year and 334,000 that require treatment in a hospital according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The figures are really staggering when you think about it. They equate to 2,400 dog attacks every day, 100 each hour or one every 36 seconds.
In many cases a child is put in danger if an owner fails to keep their dog under control, but attacks by dogs owned by strangers are not as common as we think. Almost 80 percent of biting dogs are owned by the victim’s family, a friend of the family or a relative. Often these attacks come out of the blue.
Parents or caregivers should be careful about the safety of children around dogs, particularly around certain breeds. The cliché about pet bull terriers being the most dangerous breed of dog is certainly borne out by the figures. Every year the number of fatal attacks on children by pit bulls reaches double figures and 94 percent of attacks by pit bulls on children are unprovoked.
If you or your child is injured by an out-of-control dog, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog. Our Virginia personal injury lawyers can advise you of your rights. Call us today at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.