Dog Attacks, Statistics and Prevention

Stephen J. Gordon & Associates handles numerous Massachusetts dog attack cases each year. We can use our best knowledge and experience to represent your case and achieve results. In our experience the most dangerous month for dog attacks is August. The days are long, it’s been hot for months, the gardeners are coming and going and children are generally home from school; a dangerous combination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents and the U.S. Postal Service compiled a startling array of statistics about dog attacks. Here are some of the results:

•  There are approximately 4.7 million dog bites per year nationwide.

•  The number of dog bite attacks requiring medical attention has increased 15 times faster than the increase in dog ownership.

•  There are more than 850,000 dog bites requiring medical attention in the U.S. yearly.

•  In a twelve-month period from 1995 to 1996, at least 25 people in the U.S. have died from dog attacks, 20 of whom were children.

•  Letter carriers suffer about 3,000 dog bites annually as they deliver the mail.

These alarming conclusions show that this is a problem that is getting worse, not better. Victims of dog bite attacks can sustain painful and life-altering injuries, including deep skin wounds, loss of fingers, infections and scarring. Dogs that are prone to attack are a liability and the owners need to be held responsible for them.


Children Most Often the Victims of Dog Attacks

Children are most often the victims of serious dog attacks for several reasons. They are boisterous, loud and make unpredictable movements that can scare dogs. And what a child might see as an expression of love–a simple hug–can be an explicit threat to the animal.


The Most Vicious Dog Breeds

In the period from 1979 to 1996, there were 154 reported fatal dog attacks. Five breeds accounted for two-thirds of those attacks. Those breeds, in order of the most fatalities, are Pit Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Husky and Alaskan Malamute. Pit Bulls were responsible for twice as many fatal attacks as any other breed and over half of all fatal attacks. We have handled more cases involving Rottweilers than any other breed.