Dog Safety: How To Avoid A Dog Attack And What To Do If It Occurs
In early December 2015, a boy and his mother were taking a walk in Detroit, Michigan, when four dogs owned by Geneke Antonio Lyons, attacked the pair pulling the boy under a fence and leaving him with fatal wounds. The owner, whose dogs were known to have been a problem in the neighborhood, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possessing dangerous animals causing death.
This sobering story is a reminder that although most pet dogs are our friends, there are dangerous animals out there that can cause injury, and even death.
- According to a 1994 CDC report, an estimated 4.7 million people suffer from dog bites annually in the United States, with nearly 800,000 requiring medical care.
- An estimated 336,145 people visited an emergency department with a dog bite injury in 2019, and nearly 60,000 of those were children under 9 years of age, per CDC data.
- According to a report from the National Canine Research Council, there were 38 verified dog bite-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2018.
- Over a 13-year period (2005-2017), 48% of dog bite fatalities were children under age nine, and children two years of age and under comprised the greatest number of these deaths.
All dogs can bite regardless of breed, and dog aggression can often be predicted by the dog’s owner, its past experiences, and other factors. With this said, what are some precautionary measures that can be taken in the face of a dog attack? The American Veterinary Medical Association gives some good advice on dog bite prevention and what to do in a dog bite emergency.