Preventing Dog Attacks through Technology

According to the American Insurance Institute, nearly half of all dog bites occur while the dog is off the owner’s property. While in some cases, a dog may attack another person or animal while in its owner’s presence (i.e. unleashed dogs; improperly secured collar/harness; pulling/breaking away from owner’s control), many bites and attacks are caused when a dog escapes from their owner’s property. Often time, the dog’s owner is completely unaware that their dog has escaped. The Dog Bite Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a promising new technology, which might aide in the reduction of dog-related incidents.

Micro-chipping pets has long been used as a means of recovering lost animals, however, the benefits of such microchips were dependent on whether (1) the animal was actually brought in to be scanned; (2) the scan was successful in identifying the owner (3) and the owner’s contact information was current. Traditional microchips can neither track a dog’s location, nor notify a dog owner that their dog has escaped their property, and therefore serve a highly limited purpose-the possibility that the dog and its owner may be reunited. Though, a new product, ‘Escape Alert,’ offers to change dog-to-owner reunification. As discussed by the Chicago Tribune in ‘Pet escape: How to deal with it-and prevent it,’ with the use of this device,

“a pet owner can set up a virtual boundary – his or her yard, for example. When their dog or cat crosses the boundary, they get immediate text and email alerts. Neighbors, friends, veterinarians and local animal shelters can also get notifications. Next comes the cool part: The implanted GPS chip then tells the pet owner the animal’s exact location via cell phone, iPad, text message or computer.”

While the product is marketed with the marketing slogan “Putting an End to Lost Pets Once and For All,” as dog bite injury attorneys, we find this technology highly useful in terms of preventing escape-related dog attacks. Recently, we noted our concerns over escaping dogs that subsequently inflict injuries upon another person and/or animal, in ‘Protecting YOURSELF from Injury in Animal-on-Animal Attacks.’ Here, we discussed an incident in which a puppy, as well as both of its owners, sustained multiple injuries after being attacked by two pit bulls that had escaped their owner’s property.

Although it is unknown as to whether the pit bull incident occurred due to the owner permitting the dogs to roam, or the dogs escaping without the owner’s knowledge, it is certainly easy to see the benefits that Escape Alert’s GPS-tracking technology offers in attack prevention-at least with regard to Responsible Pet Owners.

With GPS and tracking-related technology having been around for years, you may be wondering why traditional pet micro-chipping devices have not already incorporated an option or means of providing the precise location of an animal, without needing to be scanned. Well, just like portable GPS devices and cell phones, they require power to work. And because you can’t plug a dog into an outlet, pet microchips equipped with locational-tracking must be operated by a battery that lasts long enough to make the device a worthwhile investment. Escape Alert’s device, developed using the same technology as in pacemakers, offers a battery that is powered and self-charged through movement.

As an added benefit, the device, which is expected to hit the market in 2015, offers both affordability and convenience of use. Costing slightly more, yet still comparable in price to traditional microchip devices, the grain-of-rice-sized technology, appears, at least from preliminary reviews, to be a worthwhile investment. Further, because the tracking utilizes geo-fencing technology, users need not purchase nor install boundary markers, as with traditional electronic fencing or collar-affixed tracking devices.

Having witnessed the devastation caused by dog attacks, the lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. look forward to seeing the extent to which this device might reduce injuries inflicted on persons and other animals, particularly those caused as a result of a dog’s escape.

If you were bitten or attacked by a dog or other animal, contact us at 773-516-4100, or by using our online form, and allow our experienced trial attorneys, to evaluate your case, and explain your legal rights and entitlement to financial compensation during a FREE personal injury consultation.