New York Dog Owners Urged to Focus on Safety During National Dog Bite Prevention Week
The Humane Society of the United States reports, there are over 78 million dogs owned by Americans, with nearly 40% of U.S. homes owning at least one dog as a pet. Dogs are touted as being “man’s best friend,” but as we have reported, dogs can become aggressive and attack resulting in serious injuries. Just this week, a NY couple is being sued after their Labrador bit a woman on the hand while vacationing in Colorado, according to the New York Post.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Of those, 800,000 people will seek medical attention for the bites, and 386,000 of the injured require treatment in an emergency department. Sadly, about 16 people will die from their dog bite wounds.
An article in the News-Herald reports that small children, the elderly and letter carriers, in that order, are the most frequent victims of dog bites. Nearly 5,600 U.S. Postal Service employees are bitten each year. Further, dog attacks are the most commonly reported childhood public health problem in the United States.
In order to educate the public about the dangers of dog attacks, the U.S. Postal Service joins the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the CDC in sponsoring National Dog Bite Prevention Week from May 20 – 26.
The AVMA has dedicated a Facebook page to the campaign, and asks the public to be responsible dog owners by keeping their dogs properly restrained and confined, teaching young children to be safe around dogs, and to NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
The CDC offers the following tips to prevent dog bite injuries:
- Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.
- Don’t wrestle or play aggressive games with your dog.
- Properly socialize and train any dog entering your household. Teach the dog submissive behaviors such as rolling over to expose the abdomen and giving up food without growling.
- Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
Victims of serious dog attacks may require $250,000 to one million dollars in specialized medical care treatment, according to DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing and preventing serious dog attacks. Multiple reconstructive surgeries over a period of years may be necessary to alleviate the pain and to rebuild damage.
A dog bite victim should not have to pay for their own medical care. If you are the victim of a dog bite in New York, contact a Binghamton dog bite attorney for assistance. You are entitled to seek compensation for such medical expenses as the cost of emergency room visits, hospitalization, therapy, and, in many cases, plastic surgery. Reimbursement for lost wages and pain and suffering may also be available.
Regardless of how gentle a dog may seem, there is always the potential that the animal will turn violent and attack someone. We encourage all dog owners to heed the safety tips offered by the CDC and AVMA and focus on safe dog ownership.
About Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney
Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney handles all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats. The firm also represents clients in actions for wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases. In 2008, the firm reached the $100-million mark in combined lifetime verdicts and settlements. The firm features offices in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown. For more information, call (800) TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.