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Did you know it's National Dog Bite Prevention Week?

Last time, our blog discussed how May has been dubbed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As important as this is, it's extremely important not to forget about another equally important safety initiative going on right now.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has officially named May 17-23 National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a time set aside each year to raise awareness about the ever-present risk of bites, and highlight what both dog owners and non-owners alike can do to prevent injuries.

Taking a closer look at some of the statistics provided by the AVMA sheds some light on the scope of the problem:

  • Over 4.5 million people here in the U.S. are bitten by dogs every year.
  • Roughly 800,000 people require medical treatment for dog bites every year.
  • Children and senior citizens are the most common victims of dog attacks.

As if this wasn't shocking enough, consider that AVMA statistics also reveal that Georgia came in at number nine on the list of the ten states with the most dog bite claims in 2014. Indeed, the Peach State saw 116 claims totaling over $3M last year.

The good news is that the AVMA has provided some simple safety tips that people can take to protect themselves from dog bites:

  • Don't disturb dogs when they are sleeping, caring for puppies or eating.
  • Don't leave babies and toddlers alone with dogs, and teach young children how to interact with them in a safe manner.
  • Don't reach through gates or fences to pet a dog
  • Don’t pet an unknown dog without permission from the owner

We will continue to explore some of these tips in future posts. In the meantime, if you've suffered serious and debilitating injuries because of an animal bite, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about how you can seek justice for the trauma you've endured.

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