A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to bite and cause minor to severe injuries, no matter how well-trained it is. Even the most seemingly friendly and gentle canines, at the slightest provocation, can get aggressive and attack. Insurance giant, State Farm, knows this all too well. Last year, State Farm disbursed a total of 13.9 million dollars for 323 reported dog-bite claims in Illinois alone.
Based on that same report from State Farm, the state of Illinois is second only to California when it comes to the number of dog-bite claims. Dog attacks are found to increase when children are out of school and more people are out with their dogs. Lake County Animal Care and Control reports 1,100 dog bites against humans last year though there has been no fatal dog attack in the county. However, officials in the same county are confident in their efforts to reduce these numbers.
There has been a spattering of gravely serious incidents such as the one involving an 8-year old girl from Zion which occurred early October 2015. As chronicled by the Chicago Tribune, the family’s pit bull attacked the girl to her face. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the girl bleeding profusely with a towel pressed to her face. Some cases were so bad it ended with the dog being euthanized.
Personal injury attorney, Peter Zneimer, recognizes the importance of educational efforts to diminish bias on specific dog breeds considered “vicious”, such as Rottweilers or Pitbulls and to gain a better understanding of canine behavior. Surprisingly, according to Lake County Health Department statistics, Pitbulls and Rottweilers do not account for majority of dog bite incidents but Labradors do at 12.8 percent. Further proof that any dog whether or not they’re blacklisted breeds by insurance companies, can react aggressively when spurred negatively or due to a number of elements such as the environment they are in, the training they have received and the circumstances at the time of incident.
Raising public awareness is crucial to minimizing the number of dog bite incidents. Responsible dog ownership is a start and so is appropriate behavior around our canine companions.