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Archive for dog-bite

Preventing Animal Bites This Holiday Season

You and your family are going to be visiting family and friends this holiday season. As you prepare for your travels, consider that you will not only be visiting humans. You will also be visiting their family pets. While you may love animals, not all animals love strangers. The holidays can be a stressful time for pets because their routines are often turned upside down. Preventing bites is not only your hosts’ responsibility, but yours. Here are some tips for interacting with pets this holiday season.


You adore dogs and even have some of your own. Never assume that a dog is friendly or that it will welcome your touch. Do not let your children chase after someone’s dog to pet it or play with it.

Wait for the animal to approach you. When it does, let it sniff you without having to tolerate being petted. Touch the animal only when you are sure that it is comfortable. When you do decide to reach out, never move your hand above the animal’s head. Instead, pet its chest or side. This is much less threatening.


Believe it or not, cat bites may not cause as much immediate damage as a dog bite, but they can be much more severe long-term. This is especially true if you are bitten over a joint.

Cats do not tend to be social creatures and they are wary of strangers. There are, of course, cats that are social butterflies, but this is often an exception to the rule. Like dogs, let a cat approach you. It will if it’s interested. Do not let your child chase or carry the cat. Remember that cats defend themselves with very sharp claws.

Don’t like cats and don’t want to be bothered? Make eye contact. Cats are more likely to approach people that ignore them. If you want to be left alone, stare at a cat and it

Most Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites, no matter how severe, are frightening. Whether the dog is a toy breed or a giant one, bites can cause physical and emotional injuries that range from mild to debilitating. People who are bitten by a dog often experience a common set of injuries. These include:


Abrasions are scrapes and minor cuts. These can be caused by a dog’s mouth or even another physical object if you are knocked to the ground or trying to flee. Abrasions are typically not serious.


Punctures are holes inflicted to the skin by a dog’s teeth. The skin is broken and underlying tissues may be affected. Punctures typically require medical intervention if, for nothing else, a good cleaning out.


Lacerations are most often caused by the victim pulling away from the dog’s mouth. This is a reflex that many people cannot control. The dog has its teeth in, let’s say, your arm, and you try to pull your arm back. The teeth pull through your skin causing tearing. These injuries may require stitches.

Crush Injuries

Dogs exert an extreme amount of pressure when biting. A larger dog can easily crush your fingers or toes. You may even experience crushing injuries to your limbs. Crush injuries necessitate a trip to the hospital.

Fractured Bones

While unusual, dogs have been known to fracture bones with their bite. This most often occurs in the fingers, hands, and arms. Fractures of this nature do not normally heal on their own and do require medical intervention.


It’s an unfortunate part of being bitten by a dog, but scarring is common. Whether a small scar from a puncture or a larger scar from a laceration, these scars can leave behind an unwelcome reminder of the incident.


While no one can force you to seek medical attention after a dog bite, it is always recommended if your skin is punctured. Bacteria from a

Dog Bite Prevention Week May 17

Dog Bite Prevention Week starts on May 17, 2015. As part of this initiative, we would like to provide some information about a topic that people rarely connect to dog bites: responsible ownership. The very first step in preventing dog bites is responsible ownership. It makes sense when you think about it, especially when you consider the basics:

Selecting a dog. The dog breed you choose should be researched carefully. No dog should be purchased on impulse. When you pick the right breed for our level of experience, you are more likely to be able to adequately control the animal.

Socialize your dog. Socialization should begin when your dog is a puppy. Socialize the animal as frequently as you are able to do so. Your puppy should be exposed to new people, new places, and new animals on a regular basis.

Do not tease your dog. And don’t let anyone else tease your dog. Keep your pet out of situations that subject it to threatening behavior.

Train your dog. Every puppy should be put through puppy kindergarten. Older dogs should have at least one round of obedience training. Your dog should learn the basic commands of stay, sit, down, no, leave it, and come. You can build upon these skills as your dog ages.

Exercise your animal. Dogs need exercise. It really is that simple. Without it, they have excess energy that may be used in the wrong way. Exercise your dog for at least 30 minutes each day.

Avoid excitement. Avoid playing games with your dog that it finds highly exciting. Games of chase and wrestling should be avoided with dogs that are easily aroused.

Spay or neuter your dog. Spay or neuter your animal at the age that is recommended by your veterinarian.

Keep fences secure. If your dog is permitted off-leash in a fenced-in yard, make sure that fence is secure at all times.

We know that

Warm Weather Means Increase in Dog Bites

No one can deny that Miami has seen its share of odd weather right along with the rest of the country this winter. As residents shake off the cool weather and move outdoors, dogs do the same. Studies have shown that dog bites occur more often in warm weather months than they do when the weather cools down. Owners and on-owners should do their parts to prevent dog bites from occurring.

Children are most at risk of dog bites and loose dogs are more apt to bite. So how can owners and community members work together to prevent dog bites?

Owners should make sure that their dogs are current on vaccinations, including rabies, and are properly licensed. Fences or other enclosures should securely contain pets when they are in the yard. If service people will be entering the property, keep dogs in the house.

Parents should teach children to never approach a strange dog, leashed or stray. If a dog approaches your child, instruct your little one to stop and freeze. A running child is an invitation for a dog to give chase. If a dog begins to bite your child, teach him or her to curl up in a ball and put their arms over their head. This will protect your child’s face and skull from bites.

As a member of your community, it is up to you to discourage stray dogs from sticking around. Do not feed stray or wild animals. This only serves to keep the animals coming back for more. If you see a stray dog in your neighborhood, contact the authorities so that it can be caught.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, seek medical attention no matter how minor the bite. If skin is broken, bacteria can enter. Contrary to popular belief, dog’s mouths are not cleaner than humans. Once you have received medical attention, report

Children and Dogs: Let Common Sense Prevail

Many families have pet dogs. In fact, current estimates tell us that as high as 47% of all households in the country have a dog. It stands to reason that, if you have a dog, you have one that you trust with your child and their friends.

It is important to remember that even the most placid dog has teeth. Your calm, easy-going dog can bite your child or your child’s friend before you know what happened. When it comes to kids and dogs, common sense should always prevail.

Here are easy tips to follow to help prevent a dog bite from occurring in your home:

Supervision Dogs and small children should never be left alone together. Babies and toddlers are known to pull ears, grab tails, and use dogs as balancing devices. Do not leave your young child and your dog in a room together when you cannot be present to supervise the interaction.

Respect Teach your children to respect animals from the start. Your child should be corrected if it mistreats your pet, no matter the intention. You will not be able to prevent accidental bumps and falls, but you can stop your child from yanking the dog’s fur or stepping on its feet.

Distance You may have seen pictures on the Internet of children with their faces pressed firmly to a dog’s face. You may have seen babies laying on top of dogs or vice versa. This is never a good idea, not even for a photo op. Dogs have a sense of personal space; teach your child to keep their distance.

Belongings Dogs who have things frequently taken from them quickly resort to resource guarding. This behavior can be dangerous for the whole family. Do not let your child take the dog’s toys, and discourage your child from removing treats or food from the animal.

Know the Signs Very few dogs bite without warning, especially

KFC Offers ‘Apology Fund’ for 3-Year-Old Dog Attack Victim

When 3-year-old Victoria Welcher was attacked by a gang of pit bulls, her injuries left her scarred for life. Her family knew the adjustment would be difficult, but they didn’t expect it to get them thrown out of a restaurant. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened at a Jackson, Miss., KFC.

Victoria was attacked in April by three put bulls while staying with her grandfather and his girlfriend. A sheriff described it as among the worst pit bull attacks the area had ever had: she has paralysis in half of her face, experienced difficulty eating and swallowing and has visible scars across her face.

But the tragedy for little Victoria doesn’t end there. With several surgeries behind her and more yet to go, Victoria was on her way home from the hospital with her grandmother earlier this month when they stopped at a KFC. They ordered mashed potatoes, which are easy for Victoria to eat.

But the staff didn’t want her there. According to the family, while they were eating a KFC employee approached the grandmother and told them they had to leave because “her face is disrupting our customers.”

Understandably, no one in Victoria’s family was pleased. The comment was made in front of the 3-year-old, who understood and burst into tears. She is embarrassed about her appearance and avoids going into public spaces like stores.

But when Victoria’s family denounced KFC on social media, the company’s attitude changed dramatically. They apologized on Facebook immediately, saying they have “zero tolerance” for such disrespect and asking for details. And the company took action—dramatic action.

“The company is making a $30,000 donation to assist with her medical bills. The entire KFC family is behind Victoria,” a KFC spokesman said in a statement. The large donation is just the first of many in the fund that KFC created, which now totals over $80,000.

In an era of bland corporate apologies, KFC seems to

California Boy Saved from Dog Attack—By a Cat

Anyone who has ever been attacked by a dog knows that it’s terrifying, and can become dangerous quickly. Fortunately, one California boy was spared the worst of a dog attack when he was rescued—by the family cat.

4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo was playing in front of his family’s house in Bakersfield, California, on his bicycle when a neighbor’s dog wandered up the sidewalk. The dog came around the side of the family car and, without provocation, leapt on Jeremy.

The attack was recorded by surveillance cameras, and clearly shows the dog jumping on Jeremy and dragging him to the ground with his teeth. But the dog was there barely a second before the family cat, Tara, ran to the rescue.

Running at lightning speed across the yard, Tara jumped onto the dog and dug in with teeth and claws—immediately changing the dog’s mind about its meal. The dog yelped and let go of Jeremy, then fled the yard with the cat baring fangs after it.

Jeremy thankfully had only minor wounds. Two bites on his leg required a total of 10 stitches, and his father says he’s doing fine.

Meanwhile, Tara has become the family’s hero. She followed Jeremy’s parents home years ago when they were just dating, and they decided to take him in. Now they’re glad they did.

Of course, most people don’t have heroic cats to run to the rescue when a dog attacks. Dog bites are far more common than people know, and often happen at unexpected times. They are more common with unknown or agitated dogs, but even familiar and seemingly friendly dogs can attack with no warning.

If you encounter an aggressive dog, there are steps you can take to protect yourself:

Don’t turn your back and run. This will only activate the dog’s instinct to chase after. Make yourself look as big as possible, standing tall and opening your arms wide. Look at the

Should I Worry About Rabies After a Dog Bite?

Even the best-trained dogs can sometimes get too rough, and dogs you don’t know well may be unexpectedly aggressive. Dog bites remain common in Florida and California, but many people aren’t sure just how serious they are or what the real risks are. So just how serious is a dog bite—and will you get rabies?

Rabies may be the first disease you think of when you hear the words “dog bite,” but it’s a fairly uncommon outcome. You can get rabies from a dog only if it’s already infected with the disease, and if its saliva gets into your body. However, many dogs today are vaccinated against rabies, meaning they can’t become sick from it or infect humans or other dogs. Most cases of rabies in the U.S. come from wild animals, such as raccoons, skunks, rats or bats.

Nonetheless, rabies is a real risk from a strange dog. If you or a child is bitten by a dog, you should make every effort to find the owner so that you can discover the dog’s medical history and whether it has been vaccinated against rabies. If it has not, or you cannot find out for sure, then your doctor will likely want to take protective measures.

Although rare in humans, rabies is a deadly disease. Early on after being bitten by an infected animal, you may not know you have rabies, or you may think you only have the flu. Early symptoms include fever, headaches, and a sense of weakness or discomfort. Many rabies victims do not take these symptoms seriously enough, which can lead to tragedy.

So what can you do? Rabies is easily treated if caught early. Your doctor will need to give you a series of rabies shots that are given over the days and weeks following the bite. The first shot must be given as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of the bite.

Do Dog Leashes Prevent Lawsuits?

West Palm Beach dog bite lawyer reminds canine owners about responsibilities

By law, dog owners are required to keep their dogs on a leash when in public areas. But if your dog is off leash and bites someone – even if they were taunted – you might owe a lot more than just a leash law ticket.

Insurance companies paid over $7 million for dog bite claims in Florida last year, making our state 8th in the nation. Why so many? Perhaps the long, hot summers make dogs more irritable, or perhaps it’s just a fluke. But insurance doesn’t always foot the bill, and that leaves dog owners on the hook.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

1. Keep your dog in a fenced area. Even if you live in a more rural area, if your dog is allowed to roam the yard you need a fence. Mail carriers, bicyclists and unexpected visitors can all end up on the receiving end of a bite just as easily as intruders – and most dog bites happen to innocent victims. If your dog is properly fenced up, it limits the chance that you’ll be sued.

2. Always use a leash. Unless you’re in a designated leash-free dog park, it’s always worth it to use a leash. It might take a couple extra minutes before leaving the house, but a leash gives you more control over your dog if needed – often allowing you to prevent dog bites from happening at all.

3. Nice dogs bite, too. The refrain, “He’s really well-behaved” is little comfort to people who get nervous around dogs. Even the nicest dog may bite for seemingly no reason: dogs can get irritable and tired, or they may think they are play-biting but break the skin by accident.

4. Taunting? Still your liability. You may think that if someone taunts your dog, riles him up, or acts nervous and

Attacks by dogs more common

Dozens of times a day in every state, dog attacks are becoming more common, according to Click2Houston.com.

Statistics from the American Humane Association (AHA) show that of 4.7 million dog bites in the U.S. every year, 800,000 of those require medical attention. The U.S. insurance industry pays out $1 billion each year in dog bite claims.

Some local governments have gone as far as banning specific breeds that are thought to be particularly dangerous, but the AHA says that at least 25 different breeds have been involved in dog attack deaths. Thus non-breed specific laws are being adopted by some communities.

In one neighborhood, a dog has attacked three different postal carriers in the last two years. In a rare action, the U.S. post office suspended mail service in that neighborhood.

Dog bite/attack victims have rights, and most states make dog owners liable for their dogs.

Unfortunately, many dog attacks go unreported and uncompensated, so it is a good idea for the victim to contact Florida dog bite attorney.

“In most cases, an insurance adjuster will offer a victim who has no legal representation only 20 percent of what would be offered if that victim has a lawyer,” the article tells us.

Have you or someone you know been injured in a Florida dog bite or attack? The Miami personal injury lawyers at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene may be able to help.