Pit bulls are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S., currently ranking number one in Rhode Island. They are commonly known as one of the most loyal breeds and loved for stamina and protective nature. Unfortunately, they are also responsible for more fatal dog bites than any other breed combined. Between 2005 and 2015 there were 360 dog bite fatalities in the U.S. Pit bulls were responsible for 232 of these deaths. Just in 2015 alone, pit bulls, American bulldogs and Rottweilers contributed to 97% of all dog bite-related fatalities. Data compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicated that the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bit injuries has doubled within the past 15 years. With the number of dog bit injuries on the rise, it is likely that the number of Providence dog bite lawsuits will continue to increase.
Why are Pit Bulls Dangerous?
While the exact reason that pit bulls attack more often than other breeds is unknown, it is thought that they possess higher levels of aggression due to the purposes for which they were bred. Historically, pit bulls were used in the blood sport of “bull baiting” in England and later bred for “dog fights” here in the U.S. Because pit bulls were specifically bred for “gameness” (the ability to finish a fight), they developed a muscular build, robust jaw strength, high level of tenacity and a deadly bite style.
In fact, pit bulls are widely known for their unique “hold and shake” bite style which inflicts a tremendous amount of damage to the skin and muscle of the bite victim. Once a pit bull engages in an attack, it can be very hard to get the dog to stop. Police officers called to pit bull attacks often have to shoot and kill the animals to save the lives of victims. Another danger is the fact that pit bulls often employ surprise attacks methods, often showing no signs of aggression just prior to an attack. This coupled with their strength and agility has proven to be a deadly combination.
How Can I Protect Myself From a Pit Bull Attack?
Never approach an unfamiliar dog without permission. Always assume that the dog may see you as an unknown intruder or threat. Don’t pet a dog without letting him see and smell you first. Do not disturb a dog while he is eating, sleeping, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies. Dogs will be more defensive during these times.
If you think you may be attacked by a pit bull, here are a few ways to protect yourself:
- Avoid the instinct to scream or run
- Try to remain calm and still, and avoid eye contact with the dog
- Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away
- If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or any item you can put between yourself and the dog to provide a distraction
- Call for help as soon as possible
Contact a Providence Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog bite, contact one of our experienced Providence, RI dog bite lawyers located at 390 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 401-831-8600 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.