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Dog Bites: Information and Resources

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Mean dogOne variety of injury that we have yet to really touch on here is dog bites. Canines can bite in a wide variety of locations and circumstances. Even a normally friendly and well socialized dog can attack if it feels threatened. Two very important things that can help reduce the number of incidents are education of the dog owners and education of the community.

According to the Dog Bite Law, this sort of injury happens a lot. The statistics page starts with the following summary:

The most recent official survey, conducted more than a decade ago, determined there were 4.7 million dog bite victims annually in the USA. A more recent study showed that 1,000 Americans per day are treated in emergency rooms as a result of dog bites. In 2010 there were 34 fatal dog attacks in the USA. Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year, with over $300 million paid by homeowners insurance.

There’s a vast array of supporting data on that page, but there is an even better resource for our readers — a page specifically about Colorado dog bite law. It includes information such as “The Five Classes of Dog Bite Victims in Colorado,” full text of Colorado’s Dog Bite Statute, “Landlord liability for Dog Bites,” and much more.

Another worthwhile online resource is the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs. It describes itself as follows:

The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs is a group of Colorado animal health and welfare organizations working together to offer assistance to local governments striving to create and enforce effective dangerous dog laws.

The Coalition also aims to educate owners and the general public on how to live safely with dogs. There are many issues that cause the problem of dangerous dogs.

A comprehensive community approach will result in the best possible solutions to these issues.

This group does have some info about the relevant laws, but, even more importantly, it covers the other side of the equation — extensive tips on being a responsible dog owner (scroll to the bottom of the main page for link). Enforcement is important, but when dog owners take care to properly supervise and socialize their animals, it eliminates many opportunities for injury. And that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Image by Lucid Nightmare, used under its Creative Commons license.


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