Dog bites are no laughing matter. In 2012, 38 people in the United States were killed by dog attacks. Pit bulls were responsible for 23 of the deaths. Twenty-two of the deaths were caused by the family dog. Unfortunately, California led the country in fatalities, along with North Carolina. In addition to the deaths, thousands of other suffered injuries from dog bites, ranging in severity from minor to very serious.

Children are the most likely to get injured or killed by dog attacks. About half of all dog attacks involve children under the age of 12. Seventy percent of all dog fatalities involve children under the age of 10. Children between the ages of five and nine are much more likely to get bitten by a dog than any other age group.

One of the most tragic aspects about dog bites is that they are in most cases very preventable. For parents, there are steps you can take to protect your children from dog bites. The best prevention tool is education. Children who understand how to act around dogs are much less likely to be bitten. It’s important to teach children not to approach dogs they do not know, to remain calm around dogs, to not bother a dog when it is busy, and to be still around dogs.

Pet owners can also take steps to reduce the odds that their dog will become an aggressor and bite a person or another dog. First, spaying and neutering dogs will help to prevent dog bites. Neutered males are much less aggressive, and by contrast, female dogs who are in heat or have puppies can be very unpredictable. Dogs should also be trained and socialized, as well as supervised. In addition, it is very important to unchain your dog. Dogs that are chained are almost three times as likely to bite as unchained dogs.

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes all pet owners have a responsibility to keep their animals safe around others. If you have been bitten by a dog in the San Francisco area and you suffered injuries as a result, you may have a case for compensation. If you are in Fairfield, Oakland, Tracy or San Francisco, call Micha Star Liberty, personal injury attorney, at 415-896-1000.

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