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Pennsylvania Among the U.S. States with the Most Dog Bites

dog bites preventionDog Bite Prevention Week

April 9-15 is Dog Bite Prevention Week. The American Humane Association, the U.S. Postal Service, and other groups observe this week each year in an effort to help reduce the number of dog bites nationwide.

This year, multiple reports have come out indicating that dog bites increased in 2016. According to the USPS, More than 6,700 postal workers suffered a dog bite last year. That’s 200 more than in 2015. Some researchers connect this increase with the growing popularity of online shopping and home delivery services.

The Insurance Information Institute and State Farm also report that dog bites increased by as much as 18% overall last year. Note that this number may other types of include dog-related incidents – not just bites.

Which states experience the most dog bites? Pennsylvania ranks #4 in the country, behind New York, Florida, and California.

Who’s most likely to be bitten? Mail carriers and children continue to make up the majority of dog bite victims. Mail carriers approaching the home are frequently perceived as a threat by protective pets. Young children, who make up about half of all dog bite victims, aren’t always taught how to safely interact with animals. In these cases, even a friendly family pet can accidentally cause terrible damage.

What You Can Do to Avoid Dog Bites

Dog Bite Prevention Week encourages responsible dog ownership first and foremost. Proper training and socialization are important. No matter the size, breed, temperament, or age of your dog, you must follow leash laws when in public. When accepting a delivery or opening the door to a visitor, put your dog in a separate room. While some dogs have aggressive or skittish personalities, most dog owners never imagine that their pet would bite someone. Until it happens. The fact is, any dog can bite. If your dog hurts another person, even accidentally, you bear ultimate responsibility as the owner. Keeping your dog restrained in situations like these not only helps keep other people safe, it protects your dog’s safety too.

If you have young children, one of the best safety lessons you can teach them is this: never pet a dog without asking the owner’s permission. Dog Bite Prevention Week presents a great opportunity to teach dog safety behavior. Get more tips for child-dog safety here.

If you or your child is bitten by a dog, you may bring a claim against the dog owner’s insurance to pay for your medical treatment and compensate you for your suffering. Call a dog bite lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to learn about your legal options.

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