Attacks By Dogs Of Acquaintances And Friends

Madeleine Jones
September 20, 2016

The tragic death of a Clark County child exemplifies the high number of attacks by dogs owned by family and friends. Every day, around 1,000 people are injured by dogs in the U.S. Certain breeds are more likely to inflict serious harm. A Las Vegas injury lawyer can help answer the tough questions after a dog bite occurs.

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infographic_Attacks by dog of an acquaintance

Dog Bite Statistics Nationwide

In 2015, 34 people were killed in the U.S. by dog-bite related injuries. Pit Bulls were responsible for 82% of these deaths, despite making up less than 7% of the total dog population.

  • 41% of all victims were children ages 9 and younger
  • Of the adults killed, 65% were over age 60
  • Nearly one-third of all victims were living or visiting with the animal that attacked
  • Children were victims over 80% of the time when a family or friend’s animal was involved

The Pit Bull breed accounts for the majority of fatal attacks, followed by Rottweilers. However, adults should be vigilant around any large dog when children are present. Studies show that while Pit Bulls do cause most attacks, most of their owners are higher-risk people, creating situations where an animal can attack.

When Dogs Belonging to Friends and Family Bite

A local nine-year-old boy was recently attacked and killed by a friend’s dog. The dog was a pit bull-mix. The child went with friends to another child’s house to get candy. The front door of the home opened, and the dog immediately attacked the young boy’s face. The boy’s friends witnessed the attack. The child died as a result of blunt force injuries to his head and neck.

The dog was euthanized after the incident. The same animal had attacked a different child and a dog several weeks earlier. Clark County Animal Control deemed that the animal was not dangerous at the time.

Clark County officials stated that only 2.5% of dogs involved in dog-to-dog attacks were given a dangerous designation. None were designated as vicious.

Even dogs that are raised around children can suddenly attack. Dogs may attack children they know. An adult should always be present. Adult family members and friends must ensure their animals are properly monitored at all times when any child is present. Protecting the victim’s rights are paramount after an attack, and a Las Vegas injury lawyer can provide advice during such an emotional time.

Preventing Dog Bites

There are proven benefits to owning a dog, including decreased stress and increased exercise levels. However, it is important for dog owners and anyone around a dog to understand the risks.

Anyone approached by an unfamiliar dog should remain motionless. Dogs that behave strangely should be reported to an adult owner. Stray dogs should be reported to local animal control.

As children are most likely to be injured by dogs, it is important to teach children how to react to a strange dog. Dog bite prevention lessons can dramatically reduce risky behaviors toward unknown dogs.

Children should never run from a dog, or disturb a sleeping dog. Dogs can be particularly aggressive when eating or caring for puppies. Most importantly, children should never be around a dog unsupervised.