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Dog Bites Happen More Often Than You Think

The dog is still one of the most popular pets in America, and in a state like Florida, with warm weather all year round, this makes the region especially popular for many breeds of dogs that otherwise might not be so comfortable outdoors, in colder weather. As a result, there’s a huge variety of different dogs in our state, and it’s not unusual at all to see them being taken out for walks, playing with family members like kids outside, or even guarding properties, as proper work dogs.

However, this also means that there’s always a risk of people getting bitten by dogs. Sometimes this may be down to bad luck, with someone, such as a child, not knowing how to interact with an animal, and causing the dog to react defensively, with a bite. Other times, it may be because an owner who knows he or she has an aggressive animal takes no measures to protect others from that animal.

But one thing is for certain; with so many dogs in Florida itself, the dog bite is a fairly common occurrence.

Statistics For Harm

According to the state, every year, 600 people in Florida get bitten by dogs seriously enough to require medical treatment. And of those 600, Florida experience an annual rate of two deaths caused by dog attacks. Children were the ones at the highest risk of dog bites, with the majority being between the ages of 1-9. However, boys, in general, tended to be at a much higher risk than girls.

In many of these dog bite cases, this wasn’t a strange dog that the children had never seen before. Over half of the bites that occurred with children happened with dogs the family knew, either from friends/family members, or the actual resident dog in the home.

Respecting Boundaries

In the case of children, one of the most frequent causes of dog bites was unsupervised, inappropriate interactions with a dog. For example, when a dog is eating, this is a very specific, and “private moment” for most dogs, where they can get be protective about their food. The natural instinct an animal has is to protect a food source from competitors. If a child attempts to play with a dog, or take a dog away from its food while it is eating, the animal may regard this as an attack, or attempt to steal the food, and retaliate, resulting in a bite.

This is one of the reasons why dog owners must always exercise caution when it comes to the interaction of their pet and others. Children in particular often don’t have the animal knowledge to interact with a pet safely. And in some cases, a dog’s temperament may make it unsafe to interact with just about anybody.

This is why it’s important, especially in the case of a dog bite, to understand the causes of the incident. It may be that a child ignored all warnings, or it might be that there was an unprovoked attack by the dog, in which case, a dog bite lawyer should be consulted, to see what the next legal move should be.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Dog Bites Happen More Often Than You Think

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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