Dog attacks can happen anywhere, any time.
Unfortunately, these attacks often occur when we are unprepared and at a place we would never expect one to occur.
In fact, for one six-year-old girl, her attack happened at her school bus stop. In Richmond, North Carolina, this young girl was waiting for her school bus when two pit bulls attacked her right in front of the bus.
A retired firefighter left his vehicle and fought the dogs off the young girl. She had stitches and staples, a punctured lung, and broken ribs. However, had no one stepped in, there is no prediction as to how serious her injuries might have been or if this attack would have been fatal.
The owner of the dogs was cited for not having one of the dogs vaccinated and for allowing the dogs to leave her property.
Where Do Dog Attacks Happen in Philadelphia
As you can see, an attack can happen even when you are in front of a crowd of people or just getting on the bus for school.
While situations like this are rare, dog attacks are common in areas where people feel most at ease – such as their neighborhood, inside their home, or visiting a friend’s house.
Joggers and runners are at higher risk because a dog naturally wants to chase its prey. Therefore, an aggressive dog on the loose is more likely to attack someone running by.
Most Dog Attacks Stem from Aggression
Dogs will typically have some history of being aggressive – whether it is possessive of property, owners, or something else that triggers the aggression. Owners are liable for injuries caused by their animals, and in most cases, owners ignore the warning signs that their dog is overly aggressive and a threat.
Some common forms of aggression include:
Just as the name implies, the dog is protecting his or her territory. They become aggressive when someone enters their property, including friends and foes alike.
Dogs can become aggressive over their owners, especially if they think a family member is in danger. Some dogs will bite immediately assuming a threat, even if the person poses no threat. Other times, a dog will attack only when they know a true threat exists.
Have you ever tried to touch a dog’s food bowl while they eat, only to hear them growl and possibly even nip at you?
Dogs are territorial animals, and just like their property, they want their possessions left alone. If you threaten one of those possessions by touching it or removing it, a dog may become overly aggressive and attack.
It is common for young children to be bitten by a dog for touching them as they eat, drink, or play with a toy. This is why it is important for owners to train a dog to be around children, learn not to be possessive by touching them while they eat as puppies, and limiting opportunities for aggressive behavior.
Fear or Social Anxiety Aggression
Just like humans, dogs can have anxiety that leads to fear or aggression in social situations. They may be loving to family members, but when they are around others, they become uneasy, anxious, and attack.
Any time a dog is fearful, such as being trapped, they can exhibit aggressive behavior – even toward their owner.
Pain or Illness Aggression
Animals can become aggressive when they are not feeling well, and sometimes it is their only way to communicate that they want to be left alone. When a dog is sick, they may become more aggressive, especially if someone touches them or bothers them as they try to rest. Also, if a dog has a physical injury, they may become aggressive when you touch the injury site.
Some Dogs Have a Higher Risk Factor
When dogs have aggressive tendencies, an owner needs to consult with a vet and consider the risk factors. These risk factors indicate whether a dog is more likely to attack, such as:
- Age – A younger dog or puppy in training often can have their aggression corrected, but only if the owner is willing to put in the effort to do so. If the dog is older, correcting aggression takes much more work and, often, special care that some owners are incapable of providing.
- Severity – Aggression that only occurs when the dog is sick, but not at other times, is not indicative of a dog that will attack again. However, if the dog continues to show aggression, growl, nip, or even bite, regardless of the situation, then an owner should consider the risks to the community.
- Size of the Dog – A dog’s size and breed also can increase the risk of a dog attack. A larger dog is a higher risk, especially if they are already aggressive. Likewise, certain breeds can be more dangerous if they were to attack due to jaw strength – such as a pit bull.
What if You Are Attacked?
If you or a loved one is viciously attacked by a dog, whether you know the owner or not, you have rights. Owners must monitor their dog, make sure they are vaccinated, and keep them away from the public if they pose a threat.
When a vicious attack occurs, the damages can be catastrophic. A person can suffer from lacerations, broken bones, internal organ damage, and permanent scarring. Furthermore, small children and the elderly are at higher risk for fatal wounds from vicious attacks.
If you suffered a serious injury from a dog bite or attack, contact attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq., immediately. He will advocate for your right to compensation and ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you need for medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and the long-term emotional trauma experienced from a vicious attack.
To get started, schedule a free consultation by contacting him directly or you can also contact him online with questions.