Nearly 4.5 million dog bites occur each year sending 334,000 people to the Emergency Room according to a study by Pittsburgh doctors published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Many persons, especially younger children, are seriously injured by dogs, receiving permanent facial scars and other injuries. Senior citizens are in danger of being knocked over and suffering serious fractures of their hip or leg by neighborhood dogs running loose without a leash or chain. Postal workers, UPS, Federal Express and other delivery persons are at risk when they visit a home with a dog. The unexpected dog may be in an enclosed yard or run out of an open door.
Pennsylvania ranks third in the number of dog bite claims in the United States.
ANY DOG CAN BITE
Pit bulls account for 65.6% of all U.S. citizens killed by dogs. The Rottweiler is second with 10.4%, followed by German shepherd, mixed-breed, American bulldog, Mastiff/Bullmastiff, and Husky.
While any dog can bite it is best to avoid certain breeds, unless the dog is known to you. An old study by the Allegheny County Health Department cited 3,176 reports of dog bites over a three year period. The following breeds accounted for most of the bites: Pit Bulls, German shepherds, mixed breeds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweiler, Akita and Huskies. The Labrador retriever breed is probably there because of the large number of that type of dog owned by persons.
AFTER A DOG BITE
The best advice for anyone bitten by a dog is to identify the dog and its owner, ask if the dog has ever done anything like this before, get proper medical attention, ask for a plastic surgeon to take care of any facial or visible scars and take any antibiotics prescribe to you by a physician. Infections can occur after a dog bite. These can be serious injuries and you should call an attorney at once for a free evaluation of your claim.