Dog Bites in America

Dog Bites in America

  • Submitted By: RLK6
  • Date Submitted: 02/23/2009 4:52 PM
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Words: 895
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 1

There are currently 74.8 million dogs in the United States today. 2% of the U.S Population is bitten annually – that is 4.7 million people. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1,008 people are sent to the emergency rooms daily. Every year, 2,851 mail carriers are bitten. In America, you have a 50% chance of being bitten by a dog – much greater than that of being struck by lightning. See, so it really is safe playing outside in a lightning storm! Children are more likely to be bitten by a dog. As of 2007, Texas led the nation in deaths by dog bites, with 7. Georgia and Tennessee ties for second place, with 4 deaths respectively. Dog bites result in approximately 44,000 facial injuries in US hospitals each year. Over 50 percent of the bites occur on the dog owner's property.

Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, has conducted an unusually detailed study of dog bites from 1982 to the present. According to the Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweiler’s, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74% of attacks that were included in the study, 68% of the attacks upon children, 82% of the attacks upon adults, 65% of the deaths, and 68% of the maimings. In more than two-thirds of the cases included in the study, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question. The most horrifying example of the lack of breed predictability is the October 2000 death of a 6-week-old baby, which was killed by her family's Pomeranian dog. The average weight of a Pomeranian is about 4 pounds, and they are not thought of as a dangerous breed. Note, however, that they were bred to be watchdogs! The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)

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