Talk with dog owners in Maine, and you’ll likely hear that their pet is man’s best friend. Dogs are often loyal, loving and playful, yet this furry family member can sometimes be involved in serious and even deadly situations. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reports that 4.5 million dog bites happen to Americans each year, with children and men experiencing the highest percentage of bites. The lawyers at Fales & Fales have worked with many dog bite victims and have compiled top tips to prevent dog bites:
Where Do People Get Bit by Dogs?
It may come as a surprise, but most dog bites happen in the pet owner’s home. The bites happen to family members who are familiar with the dog on a daily basis. Another surprising fact is that dog bites are not restricted to any one breed of dog. While the news media will report that Rottweilers and Pitbulls cause the most fatalities, such as the 2011 dog attack that killed a 7-year-old in Frankfort, all types of dogs can injure a person.
While such a circumstance is heartbreaking for everyone involved, dog owners should understand that there may be legal action taken against them for such incidents. Even if a person is bitten by a dog outside of the dog owner’s home, the dog owner may be responsible under some circumstances.
Prevent Dog Bites From Happening to Family Members and the Public
Decrease the chances of a family member or someone in your Maine neighborhood being bitten by a dog by following these helpful tips:
- Leave a dog alone if he or she is eating, sleeping, or nursing puppies: Dogs are more prone to attack people, even dog owners, if the pets are doing any of these three activities. Nursing dogs are protective of their puppies and will attack to get a person to move away. Dogs will also be protective of their food and may attack people or other dogs that get too close to food bowls. When a person wakes a sleeping dog, the animal can be startled and nip at the person who disturbed them.
- Never leave a dog unsupervised: Always be aware of where your dog is, what it is doing and who may be interacting with the dog. Never leave a small child alone with a dog, even a familiar one. Small children can play too roughly with dogs. If the dog is hurt or uncomfortable with the child’s play, it can snap out and bite the child.
- Never encourage a dog to play aggressively with a person: Aggressive play with a dog may seem like fun for the pet. Yet it is also teaching the dog that this behavior is acceptable. While the aggressive play may not hurt an adult, such play might hurt small children and babies left alone with the dog.
- Keep a safe distance from an unfamiliar dog: You should never approach an unfamiliar dog without permission. If you don’t want to interact with the dog, avoid eye contact and wait for the dog to pass. If the dog approaches, firmly say, “Go home” or “No” as this verbal action may encourage the dog to move away.
Dog bites can happen even when you are being careful. If you or a loved one has been bitten by an unfamiliar dog, contact the Lewiston law offices of Fales & Fales to find out your rights.
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Image Via Wikimedia by : Nicor