This year, May 18th through May 24th is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. With an estimated 70 million dogs in America we all need to understand how to live together with our furry friends safely. That is why a special week highlighting the prevalence of dog bites and how to prevent them is a good idea. Statistics regarding dog bites shows how common dog bites are in America. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:
- Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bid that bitten by dogs.
- Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
- Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
- Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
- Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
- Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.
As responsible pet owners we need to properly train and socializing our dogs, supervise them at all times, especially when they are around children, and educate our children on how – or if – they should approach a dog. As a pet owner and someone bitten by his own German Shepard when I was a child I understand that many of these bites are accidents, unintended and not due to the bad nature of the dog. However, actions have consequences and in Connecticut there is a special law just for people injured by dogs, and not just from dog bites, but any injury caused by a dog. In short, and generally speaking, the owner and/or keep of the dog are going to be held responsible.
If you or a loved one has been bitten or otherwise injured from a dog you have rights and remedies under the law. Give me a call and I can help you understand what they are.