You have probably owned a dog at some point or have family or friends with dogs. They are the most popular household pet in America, with 78.2 million of them living in homes throughout the nation. This means that 39 percent of Americans own at least one dog. There is a good reason for these numbers: dogs really are “man’s best friend,” and no other pet comes close to the love and companionship a good dog brings to its owners.
On the other hand, with pet ownership also comes responsibility. Unfortunately, some owners are lax about taking care of their dogs, and this can lead to serious dog bite problems. Dog bites are one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits, and every year dog attacks turn fatal for a few unlucky victims.
While the majority of dog bites are not fatal, the statistics are still grim. Every year, an average of 30 people die from fatal dog attacks. Furthermore, many of these fatal attacks are committed by a handful of dog breeds, including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids. However, any dog will bite if provoked, and smaller dogs account for dozens of hospital visits every day for stitches in fingers or faces after a “lap dog” has snapped or bitten a victim.
Many fatal or serious Orange County dog bites occur “off property,” meaning that the dog escaped a fence or confinement and attacked a person who was not on the owner’s property. This could be someone walking down the street or even standing in his or her own yard.
It is vital that you keep your dog under control at all times if you own one. The law requires that owners have control over their dogs under every circumstance; this means that even if someone comes into your yard uninvited, you could face a lawsuit if your dog attacks the person. You could also face a lawsuit in Orange County if a visitor attempts to pet your dog in your home and receives a dog bite.
The best way to stop dog bites is prevention. A simple obedience class will help you bond with your pet and teach you some very useful tips for introducing your dog to a person or another dog safely. If you have visitors and you know that your dog is likely to be nervous, a crate may be the best solution. Working with your dog to overcome fears will prevent the vast majority of dog bites, which are known as “warning bites.” If you have a dog that has been known to show aggressive tendencies, talk to your vet or a professional dog trainer about your options. A dog that growls and lunges will eventually bite, so it is your responsibility to take care of this behavior before someone is hurt.
If you have suffered a dog bite, be sure to talk to a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible time after the incident. It is important not only to file your claim for damages but to ensure that the dog will not be able to attack or bite anyone else.