According to news reports, a shar pei pit bull mixed-breed dog fatally attacked a 3-day old infant in Fresno, CA. The mother had left the child only for a moment when the dog, that she thought was chained in the back yard, entered the house and attacked the infant. Fresno police Lt. Dan Macias said this appears to be a tragic accident and no charges are expected to be filed. The dogs are in the car of animal control until the investigation into this tragic dog attack is completed.
This heartbreaking dog attack reminds us that even the friendliest family pet can turn vicious without any warning. Simply because a dog has never acted aggressive or bit a person is no reason to assume the dog will never become violent and harm someone. It is better to take precautions before a dog becomes violent.
Why Does a Dog Attack?
Dogs attack for a variety of reasons but most dogs attack only when they are threatened or they are protecting something that belongs to them (i.e. toy, bone, food, a puppy, or a family member). Even a dog that has been through training can suddenly attack a person.
You cannot predict when a dog might bite someone, especially if the dog has never displayed violent tendencies. Therefore, it is a wise to take the following steps to prevent a dog attack regardless how gentle and lovable your dog may be.
- Warn Others – Put up signs on your property warning anyone entering your property that you have a dog. This does not control the actions of your dog but a “Beware of Dog” sign may deter people who might approach the dog thinking the dog is harmless.
- Training is Essential – A dog training course can reduce the risk of a dog attack. A dog that is exposed to “socialization” and formal training is more likely to listen to commands in a dangerous or volatile situation. Obedience classes are a wise investment in the health and well-being of your dog and as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of a dog attack.
- Keep Your Dog Secured – Do not let your dog roam freely around the neighborhood. Your dog should be kept in a fenced yard. Make repairs to the fence immediately when necessary to prevent your dog from getting out.
- Pay Close Attention to Your Dog Around Children and Strangers – Children do not think about the dangers of a dog attack. They see a dog and they immediately assume the dog is friendly. If children are present, watch your dog carefully and intervene if a child approaches your dog. Also watch your dog carefully around strangers. You never know when your dog may interpret a stranger’s actions as aggressive.
- Keep Your Dog Vaccinated – You need to keep up with your dog’s vaccinations. In a dog attack, the victim could allege you were negligent if your dog is not up-to-date on his or her vaccinations.
For more information about preventing a dog attack, contact The Humane Society of the United States or visit its website.
Are You The Victim of a Dog Attack?
If you have been injured in a dog attack, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 to schedule a free consultation. Our Fresno dog attack attorneys are here to protect your legal rights as you continue to recover from injuries sustained in a dog attack.