April brings warmer temperatures to areas across the country, and as such, more dogs may be out and about with their owners and in yards in your neighborhood. It's important to remember that even the kindest of dogs can become dangerous if they feel threatened, fearful, or territorial. As part of spreading awareness of dog bite prevention, the US Postal Service, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and various other organizations recognize the second full week of April as National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
The following statistics are from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
- There are about 70 million dogs in the US
- More than 36 percent of American households own at least one dog
- About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year
- 20 percent of those victims will require medical care
- Children, the elderly, and postal workers are the three groups at greatest risk for dog attacks
So now that we know the scope of the problem, what steps can we all take to prevent dog attacks? Here are some tips from the AVMA:
- Place your dog in another room before opening the door to receive a package from your mail carrier
- Always ask the owner for permission to pet the dog before doing so
- Don't pet a dog unless it's had an opportunity to see and smell you
- Do not make direct eye contact with a dog that is attacking you
- Do not approach a strange dog, especially if it is locked up or placed in an enclosure
- Make sure your own dog(s) is(are) properly trained and socialized
- Educate your children about the danger of approaching strange dogs
- A dog that is sleeping, eating, or in its crate should be left alone
Doing these things may help you and your children avoid dog bites.
In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, our skilled and experienced injury lawyers can determine if you have a claim to pursue compensation. To arrange a case evaluation, please call Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht, at 402-371-4300. We are proud to serve areas across the region, including Omaha and Norfolk.