Dog bites a real concern for residents in San Francisco

Every day, people in the U.S. suffer serious dog bites that require medical attention.

Dogs are considered man’s best friend but The Cartwright Law Firm Inc. knows that for many residents in San Francisco, a dog could be their worst enemy. Just recently, SFGate reported that a mastiff mix dog bit an 8-month old child. The details are sketchy but the attack occurred on a street corner in San Francisco and it is known that the dog was contained in a locked room after the incident. It is unclear if the dog’s owner is the one who locked up the animal. The baby is expected to survive but required hospital care for the bite on his head.

Every day, people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs. Dogsbite.org states that out of these bites, emergency care is needed for 1,000 people. The majority of dogs that kill or seriously injure people include pure bred and mixed pit bull breeds, mastiffs, Rottweilers and German shepherds. However, people should keep in mind that any dog is capable of biting.

Signs of an impending bite

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that a dog will sometimes give off a varying amount of signs that it is about to bite. These signs include the following behaviors:

  • Fur on the dog’s back stands straight up
  • Stiffness in legs
  • Growling, barking, and showing of teeth
  • Dog tries to stare the person down
  • A stiff, upright, slowly wagging tail

Some dogs will act submissive before a bite, showing their stomach, licking their lips and cowering down. These dogs often are biting as a defense against a perceived threat. The most aggressive dogs will charge without warning or may lunge against a fence, leash or other form of containment.

Defending against a bite

Often, people panic when they are attacked and they may try to run or yank an arm away from the dog. This can actually make the attack worse because the dog will become more aggressive and determined to seize what it is attacking. Pet experts also say that trying to harm the dog or hit it usually doesn’t work either because it will only serve to upset the dog more.

Instead, people should try to use something with them to put into the dog’s mouth. For example, pushing a backpack, diaper bag or purse at the dog’s mouth may encourage the dog to attack that item instead and let go of the victim. If the person does not have something with them, then curling up into a ball, laying on the ground and covering the face and ears may also reduce the severity of the injury.

Seeking help

When people are bitten by a dog, they should seek immediate emergency care, especially if the bite breaks the skin. A dog’s mouth contains many different types of bacteria, which can cause infection in people. The next step should be to meet with an experienced attorney for legal assistance.