Dogs can be lovable, furry friends that prompt people of all ages to reach out and say hello. However, before you extend your hand to pet a dog, consider the fact that the dog may not react how you would expect. Here at Nield Law, we see many people who are the victim of an unexpected dog attack.
NBC San Diego reports that in the period between July 1, 2012, June 30, 2013, there were nearly 2,700 people in San Diego who suffered a dog bite. According to a spokesperson for the county’s animal services department, dogs that were first-time offenders were responsible for nearly all of those instances.
The American Kennel Club offers a number of tips that can help you lower your risk of becoming the victim of a dog bite. For example, you should always ask the dog’s owner before reaching out to pet the animal. Additionally, the organization recommends the following:
- Never leave small children alone with a dog.
- Do not disturb a dog that is eating, drinking or sleeping.
- If a mother dog is with her puppies, she may be especially protective and should be treated with caution.
- If a dog off its leach approaches you, you should remain very still and avoid making direct eye contact.
The American Kennel Club states that dogs consider their homes and yards as their own personal spaces. Therefore, when you approach a dog in its home, you should keep in mind that it may act on instinct to protect its property. Dog owners also have a responsibility to keep their animals leashed and appropriately socialized in order to minimize the odds of an attack.
Regardless of the steps you can take to prevent an attack, statistics continue to demonstrate that these events occur multiple times a day in our area. Suffering a dog bite can be a physically and emotionally traumatic experience that may warrant professional medical attention.
To learn more about your rights following a bite, please visit our dog attack page.