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Dog Bite Prevention Week

May 19, 2016 | Category: Animal Attacks | Share

1National Dog Bite Prevention Week takes place during the third full week of May each year. This year it is May 15-21. The week focuses on educating people about preventing dog bites. 

Dog Bite Prevention WeekThere are estimated to be 70 million dogs living in U.S. households. With so many dogs, many adults and children are bitten by dogs every year. The American Medical Veterinary Foundation (AMVF) says the majority of these bites, if not all, are preventable.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) experts estimate that dogs bite more than 4.5 million people every year. Fifty to 72 percent of dog-bite victims are children, and the next largest group are the elderly, around 20 percent. Emergency medical treatment is required for about 800,000 dog bites annually.

A potentially dangerous dog behavior problem is aggression towards children. If a dog growls, snarls, snaps at, lunges toward or tries to bite children, the dog’s owner must take precautions to ensure the animal cannot bite a child. Aggressive dogs need to be kept away from children, and when walking these dogs, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recommends muzzling the dogs.

WCTV (Tallahassee) reported that in 2012 (latest available statistics) Florida and Georgia were in the top 10 states reporting dog bite insurance claims.

According to Florida statue 767.04, the owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident.

Any dog may bite. The ASPCA reports that from the smallest to the largest, even dogs which may be the friendliest, cute and easygoing might bite if provoked. The majority of dog bites are from dogs known to the person it attacks. The ASPCA recommends protecting children from dog bites by discussing with them the appropriate way to behave around dogs.

Tips for parents and dog owners to help keep kids safe from Doggone Safe, a non-profit in Wesley Chapel, FL:

 The 3 Most Important Things to Teach Your Kids:

  1. Dogs Don’t Like Hugs and Kisses – Teach your kids not to hug or kiss a dog on the face.  Hugging the family dog or face-to-face contact are common causes of bites to the face.  Instead, teach kids to scratch the dog on the chest or the side of the neck. 
  1. Be a Tree if a Strange Dog Approaches – Teach kids to stand still, like a tree. Trees are boring and the dog will eventually go away.  This works for strange dogs and anytime the family dog gets too frisky or becomes aggressive. 
  1. Never Tease a Dog, and never disturb a dog that’s sleeping, eating or protecting something. 

The 2 Most Important Things Parents Can Do:

  1. Supervise – Don’t assume your dog is good with kids.  If a toddler must interact with your dog, you should have your hands on the dog too.  Even if your dog is great with kids and has never bitten – why take a chance? 
  1. Train the dog – Take your dog to obedience classes where positive-reinforcement is used.  Never pin, shake, choke, hold the dog down or roll the dog over to teach it a lesson.  Dogs treated this way are likely to turn their aggression on weaker family members.  Involve older children in training the family dog while supervising.  Don’t allow children to punish the dog. Condition the dog to enjoy the presence and actions of children using positive experiences. 

“If you or a loved one has suffered injury as the result of a dog bite, contact the Fort Myers Dog Bite lawyers at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,” said Attorney Randall Spivey.



Fort Myers Animal Attacks Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.

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