Dog Bites Becoming U.S. Epidemic
A top dog trainer says dog bites in the United States are at “epidemic proportions.”
Every year more than 4.5 million Americans — more than half of them children — are bitten by dogs, said the American Humane Association ahead of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which begins Sunday.
Insurers paid more than US$483 million in dog bite claims in 2013. Plastic surgeons performed 26,935 operations to repair injuries caused by dog bites.
And the US Postal Service said 5,581 of its employees were attacked last year.
“The dog bite situation in America is at epidemic proportions — in Europe less so, but still a huge issue,” British-born dog trainer and television presenter Victoria Stilwell, host of the reality series “It’s Me or the Dog,” told AFP.
“Everywhere needs to take the situation very seriously,” said Stilwell at a media event in Washington attended by Elle, a mellow therapy dog that happens to be a pit bull.
Stiwell appealed for greater education and awareness among dog owners and the public — as well as better-trained dogs.