About 4,000 dog bites are reported each year in New York City, according to NYC Health. Those most at risk for bites are children, especially boys ages 5 -12. Children are also most likely to be seriously injured by dog bites, which often occur when dogs are off leashes.
New York City requires that dogs be on leashes when in public places except in designated parks. Leashes cannot be longer than six feet.
NYC Health lists the following ways that dog owners can prevent bites:
- Spay or neuter dogs to reduce aggressive/territorial behavior. Spayed and neutered dogs are less likely to bite.
- Train dogs to obey simple commands such as “stay,” “sit,” and “no.” Consider enrolling your dog in an obedience class.
- Expose dogs to different situations and people to improve their social skills.
- Never leave a dog unattended, and remove your dog from a situation that makes it nervous, afraid or anxious.
Unfortunately, not all dog owners take such precautions. According to WebMD, more than 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. If a bite is deep enough, it can damage muscles, tendons, nerves and bones.
Dog attacks can also kill. According to dogsbite.org, 31 people were killed in dog attacks in 2011. About 71 percent involved pit bulls, even though they make up less than 5 percent of the U.S. dog population. Between 2005 and 2011, pit bulls killed 128 people in the U.S.
But pit bulls are not the only dogs that bite. Do not assume that any dog is safe. Approach dogs with caution and teach your children to do the same.
If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, get the bite looked at by a doctor. Then contact the New York City personal injury law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C. For a free evaluation of your case, call us at 866-213-1916 or fill out our online contact form.