St. Louis Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Discuss Safety & Prevention
Dog Safety Information
Dog bites affect as many as four million Americans each year, and over 800,000 of these people are bitten severely enough to seek medical attention from a hospital emergency room or urgent care center, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Luckily, the number of dog bites suffered each year is declining, partly because more dog owners and others are learning how to interact with dogs safely and teaching these skills to their children. Here are a few dog safety points that can help you or someone you care about avoid a serious dog bite injury.
Being bitten by a dog is a scary experience at any age, but it can be particularly terrifying for young children, who may be experiencing their first serious injury and who may not realize that dogs can bite. While very few people die from dog bites each year, many suffer serious injuries. At our firm, we understand how confusing, frightening, and painful a dog bite can be. That’s why our skilled St. Louis dog bite injury attorneys are dedicated to helping families seek the compensation they need after a bite occurs. To discuss your case with us free of charge, call our office today at (314) 322-8515.
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog. In particular, do not run up to an unfamiliar dog. The dog may interpret this as an attack and bite to defend itself. Instead, stand several feet away from the dog and stretch out your arm, offering the dog your hand to sniff. Wait for the dog to come to you.
- Never run away. Like running toward a dog, running away tends to trigger a dog’s natural urge to protect itself or its territory, and it may chase you aggressively if you run. Instead, stand still while the dog approaches. If you are knocked over or you think the dog is approaching aggressively – for instance, if it is running or lunging – curl up into a ball and lie still, protecting your head and neck with your hands or clothing.
- Always ask a dog’s owner before offering your hand to an unfamiliar dog to sniff. If the owner says no, do not touch or approach the dog. Always wait for the dog to signal that it’s okay to touch or pet, after you have given the dog a chance to sniff you. Think of a sniff as a “handshake” for dogs: the polite and proper way to introduce yourself.
- Do not play with a dog without supervision, and never let a child play with a dog without supervision. Teach children never to bother a dog while it is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.
- If you see a dog acting strangely, go indoors and bring everyone else indoors as well. Call your local Animal Control officer to report the dog. Although rabies cases are rare, they are not unheard of, and a strangely-behaving dog may have rabies or another disease that might be transmitted via a bite.
- Seek medical attention for a bite immediately, and teach children to report a bite immediately to an adult. Do not try to capture the dog unless it is easy to do so and does not waste time that should be spent getting medical care for the bite.
Preventing Dog Attacks in St. Louis
Dog Bite Prevention
Many dog attacks happen suddenly and are unprovoked and unpreventable. There are, however, some steps you can take to lessen your chances of being involved in a serious Missouri dog attack. If you or a loved one is injured by a vicious dog, please do not hesitate to speak to an attorney regarding your legal rights and options.
How to Prevent an Attack
There are ways to minimize the chances of a serious dog attack. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Never approach a dog that is not with an owner. Dogs that are loose and unwatched are unpredictable. There is a good chance the dog is lost, worried or feels threatened. Keep your distance from stray dogs.
- Ask permission from a dog owner before approaching a dog on a leash. Owners of dogs that have temperamental issues should know that their dog is potentially dangerous. Before petting a dog, make sure the owner is aware of your intent and that consent is given.
- Avoid approaching injured dogs. Contacting the dog’s owner or the authorities should be done without approaching an injured animal. Dogs that are in pain have a greater chance of lashing out and attacking.
- Avoid dogs that are eating or sleeping. Dogs do not like to be surprised and they may attack if they feel like you may take their food or feel threatened in any way. Dogs chewing on bones should also be given adequate space. They may be protective of their treat.
- Be careful not to taunt an animal. Dogs should not be pinched, pulled or poked under any circumstances. Their instinctive reaction to such acts may be to bite.
There are actions the government can take to help prevent dangerous attacks as well. Local governments need to crack down on dog fighting, which is illegal, and excessive breeding. Parents can help prevent child dog bite attacks by teaching kids to stay away from dogs they don’t know and to ask for help before approaching a dog.
Get a Free Consultation
The St. Louis dog attack lawyersat our firm offer free consultations to anyone injured by a dangerous animal. A dog does not have to have a history of violent behavior for the owner to be held liable for the damages. If a dog in Missouri has bitten you or a loved one, call our law offices right away to discuss your potential claim.
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