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4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs in 2013
4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs in 2013

4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs in 2013

The U.S. Postal Service has released its rankings of the cities with the most dog attacks in 2013. Across America, 5,581 postal employees were attacked throughout the year.

A total of about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of those are children.

here’s the release

“For thousands of years, dogs have been our best friends, providing love, comfort and protection,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “In turn, we must be their best friends and protect all those around us — ourselves, our children, and our dogs — from the dangers and consequences of dog bites through good prevention strategies.”

“The majority of emergency room treatments for dog bites involve children,” says Justin Scally, national director of humane intervention for American Humane Association. “Studies have also shown that the greatest percentage of dog-bite fatalities occurred among children and unsupervised newborns.”

Dogs can bite for many reasons, including improper care and/or a lack of socialization. All dogs, even well trained gentle dogs, are capable of biting however when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Thus, even when a bite is superficial or classified as “provoked,” dogs may be abandoned or euthanized. Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep both children and dogs safe by preventing dog bites wherever possible.

To reduce the number of injuries to people and the risk of relinquishment of dogs that bite, American Humane Association offers the following suggestions:

For Children:

* Never approach an unknown dog or a dog that is alone without an owner, and always ask for permission before petting the dog.

* Never approach an injured animal — find an adult who can get the help s/he needs

* Never approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or nursing puppies.

* Don’t poke, hit, pull, pinch or tease a dog.

For Dog Owners:

* Never leave a baby of small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet.

* Interactions between children and dogs should always be monitored to ensure the safety of both your child and your dog.

* Teach your children to treat the dog with respect and not to engage in rough or aggressive play.

* Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.

* Never put your dog in a position where s/he feels threatened.

* Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep him/her healthy and to provide mental stimulation.

* Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.

* Regular veterinary care is essential to maintain your dog’s health; a sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.

* Be alert, if someone approaches you and your dog – caution them to wait before petting the dog, give your pet time to be comfortable with a stranger.

American Humane Association also offers a free online booklet available for families with children called “Pet Meets Baby,” providing valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet — or a new pet into a home with a child: http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/humane-education/pet-meets-baby.html.

Consider these alarming statistics provided by National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition members:

* In 2013, State Farm paid $104 million as a result of 3,700 dog bite claims. Over the past five years, the insurer has paid $510 million for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog. Sadly many of these accidents could have been prevented.

* American Veterinary Medical Association estimates the U.S. dog population was approximately 70 million at the end of 2011, down from approximately 72 million in 2006, yet the number of dog bite incidents hasn’t decreased.

* Prevent The Bite reports that according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9 and 11th for ages 10-14 from 2003-2012.

* Insurance Information Institute estimates that in 2013, insurers across the country paid over $483 million in dog bite claims.

* American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery reports that according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 26,935 reconstructive procedures were performed in 2013 to repair injuries caused by dog bites.

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    One comment

    1. Dustin Sherrill

      Where’s the rankings of the cities with the most dog attacks?

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