It’s officially spring, and you know what that means: litters of puppies are being born in Georgia. Everyone loves a cute little puppy, but every cute little puppy turns into a dog, and sadly, some dogs are not “good dogs.”
As an Atlanta personal injury attorney, I have dealt with some severe injury cases that were caused by dog bites. Dog bites can become serious medical concerns, particularly if the dog is homeless or a stray or if the owner has failed to vaccinate and train the dog appropriately.
What types of dogs bite most? If you are like most Americans, you guessed the answer right away: pit bulls. While some owners will say, “Pits are only mean if their owners train them to be mean,” statistics on dog bites say otherwise.
In a three year period between 2006 and 2008, pit bulls were responsible for at least 52 deaths in the United States, a full 59 percent of all fatal attacks recorded. Rottweilers were responsible for 14% of the dog attack deaths that were reported during the same period. Between the two breeds, that is more than 70% of fatal attacks. With statistics like these, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that perhaps Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are not the best animals to have in your home.
DogBites.org compiles statistics on dog bites throughout the United States, and it turns out that most fatal dog bite attacks occur on the “dog’s” property, but the victims are not typically “predators,” they are usually friends and family members, and often they are children.
If you have children, you need to teach them to be wary of strange dogs. While you don’t want to create unnecessary fear of dogs in your child, you do need your child to understand that every puppy is not friendly and every dog has the potential to bite.
As a personal injury attorney in Georgia, I know that dog bites can create long-term, serious medical consequences. In Georgia, there are breed specific ordinances in several communities dealing with potentially dangerous dogs. The most far reaching thus far in Georgia is the city of College Park, which has declared several breeds potentially dangerous, including pit bulls, Staffordshire terriors, rottweilers, German sheperds, and Dobermans. Owners in College Park are required to register their dogs as potentially dangerous, and the dogs are required to wear a brightly colored tag on their collar to warn citizens that the dog is of a breed considered potentially dangerous.
While dog activist groups are rallying against “breed profiling,” the safety of citizens remains paramount. If you are injured in a dog attack, or if you know of someone who has been bitten by a dog, contact David Van Sant, an Atlanta accident lawyer. He will work with you to ensure that you get the compensation and victim’s rights you deserve.