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When Dogs Become Vicious


Although for many people there is no better companion than a dog, for someone who has been bitten by one, the four-legged friends are anything but companionable.

The fact is, between four and five million people are injured by dog bites every year in this country, at a cost of nearly $165 million. Sadly, three in five of these incidents involve children. Most often, kids under age ten experience bites to the face, which can be painful and disfiguring, not to mention terrifying. Other injuries from dog bites can include punctures, lacerations, torn ligaments, fractures, and infection.

Know the Warning Signs

Although many dog bites occur with no provocation or warning, in some instances it may be possible to prevent attacks. Staying calm in the face of a menacing animal could save you from serious injuries, and even death.

Many dogs give subtle clues that they are feeling threatened. In other cases, the warning signs are quite clear. When in the presence of dogs, be tuned in to the following indications of possible trouble:

  • When a dog freezes and seems to assess its surroundings;
  • When the hair on a dog’s neck or back raises;
  • When you can sense tension in the animal;
  • When the dog growls menacingly;
  • When the animal bares its teeth.

A Defensive Stance to Prevent an Attack

Preventing a threatening dog from actually attacking can be a matter of taking a defensive posture. If you have a moment to prepare yourself, take stock of the situation, remain calm, and try the following to prevent an attack:

  • Slowly turn to the side to avoid facing the animal directly;
  • Cross your arms and feign disinterest in the dog;
  • Stay still and quiet to avoid provoking the animal;
  • Slowly put distance between yourself and the dog, aiming for a fence or barrier if possible;
  • Attempt to get help without alarming the dog.

If the Animal Attacks

In the event the dog lunges, do your best to remain standing. If you do fall, protect your neck and face with anything you may have handy, like a jacket, backpack or purse. At the very least use your arms as a protective covering for these areas. Although it sounds impossible, do your best to remain calm until help arrives.

Following an Attack

Recovering from a vicious animal attack can be a lengthy and difficult process.  In addition to physical damage, the psychological harm may be devastating. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, our experienced legal team will fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. It is possible that you are eligible for damages to cover medical and psychological treatment, lost wages, and more. Contact us today in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation.