With the weather changing to more-favorable conditions for owners to walk their dogs, pedestrians should be weary of the chance of being subject to a dog bite. Every year in the United States, 800,000 dog bites are severe enough to need medical treatment; 17 are fatal. Fifty percent of all American children are bitten by a dog before the age of 13. With the increase in temperature, Massachusetts dog bites will also increase.
Where Are Common Dog Bite Areas?
- Owner’s Property: Over 50% of the bites occur on the dog owner’s property. Dogs will instinctively bite any intruder on or around their property if they feel threatened or scared. This is because it is natural for a dog to protect not only themselves, but also their homes.
- Parks: Parks have seen increases in dog bites due to the nature of humans running, jogging, walking and biking. This is because the motion of the person doing the running activity triggers the dog to naturally think of chasing those who run.
- Animal Shelter: Animal shelters are particularly common for dog bites because of the increased stress that is put on a dog. Because of the enclosed space of a dog kennel, the dog may begin to feel trapped and will try to defend themselves. Also, many animal shelters will contain rescue dogs who may show pain-induced aggression due to prior owner’s care and treatment of the dog.
Why Do Dogs Bite Humans and How Can You Tell If A Dog May Bite You?
Many dog bites are very common when induced by fear. The fear aggression response is most often directed toward strangers. There is no particular breed or gender predilection for fear aggression, but these biters commonly lack early socialization to a wide variety of people and experiences. Also, some dogs believe the only way to protect their valuables is through an act of aggression. A dog’s list of valuables may include food, toys, territory or even their human family members. Lastly, dogs may bite because of the need for dominance. In cases of dogs who bite due to dominance aggression, members of the dog’s human family are most often the victims. If an owner attempts to move a dog off the bed to change the linens, push down on the dog for a sit command or step over a dog in the way, dog bites can occur.
When looking at when a dog may bite look for the following clues:
- A Tensed body
- A Stiff tail
- Pulled back head and/or ears
- A Furrowed brow
- Eyes rolled so the whites are visible
- Flicking tongue
- Intense stare
- Backing away
Contact a Massachusetts Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured from a dog bite, contact one of our experienced Massachusetts dog bite lawyers. 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 one of our Massachusetts offices or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.