Over the last several years, many cities in California – including San Francisco – have noticed an increase in the number of reported dog bites. Because dog bites can cause severe injuries with long lasting effects, dog owners must be aware of the potential bite risks presented by their particular breeds of dog.
According to statistics cited by Rebecca Katz, chief of San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control Department, over the last two years there were 766 reported bites in the city. In the prior two year period, only 543 dog bites were reported.
Katz attributed the increase to more efficient and accurate reporting citywide. Following the tragic mauling of Diane Whipple in 2001, the city has a better system in place and is, according to Katz, “on patrol 24/7.”
Tips to Stay Safe
The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests the following to help everyone avoid being bitten by a dog:
Never reach over or through a fence to pet a dog you do not know
Dogs like to chase, so do not run past a dog you do not know
If a dog threatens you, remain calm, avoid eye contact and back away slowly
If you are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball and cover your head and neck
According to research by the San Diego Union-Tribune, pit bulls and rottweilers have the highest average incidence of biting people. The breeds with the lowest average were pugs and golden retrievers.
An Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog and suffer injuries, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Depending on the circumstances, those injured by a dog may have claims for injuries, lost wages and more under California law. For more information, contact an attorney today.