“About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year and about 885,000 require medical attention for these injuries; about half of these are children,” according to the Insurance Information Institute data they obtained from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
This is a staggering number and the associated medical/financial costs are in the hundreds of millions of dollars that we all pay through higher premiums in homeowners, business liability and medical insurance. Let’s also not forget the human psychological toll it places on the victims, especially children, which can’t be monetized.
May 17-23 is Nation Dog Bite Prevention Week and is designed raise awareness of this issue and to remind pet owners of their responsibilities. Treating a dog like a beloved member of the family is critical and should also include proper training and ongoing expectations that the animal will maintain proper behavior around others.
Check out what the US Postal Services experiences from dog bites. Here is list of the top 30 worst cities in 2014. Note how Sacramento surpasses cities like San Francisco and Oakland.
Over the years, I have had several clients who either brought their dog to work and/or encouraged their employees to do the same.
Several years ago when I entered a two different employer locations where dogs were present, I found my visits to be to challenging. The dogs were understandably territorial, but when I found them unleashed, their “pearly whites” beginning to show with an angry growl, the hair on their backs standing up, to me these were signals for me to be very careful in my movements and to provide positive reassurance that I was their friend.
Fortunately, I was not bitten and each employer regained control of their pet. It later occurred to me that someone who did not handle themselves appropriately could have incurred an injury.
The statistics about the magnitude of injuries from dog bites also shows California again leading the nation. I have included a link to this article in the Insurance Journal that shares the number of reported claims and damages paid from homeowner’s insurance policies. I have been unable to locate any stats from claims in the workplace.
Dog bites are a result of how animals are treated by their owners and the type of training and ongoing consistent discipline the dog’s master requires of their pet. Yes, there are breeds that may be more aggressive than others, but the responsibility for the pet’s actions are on the shoulders of their owners.
When all pet owners start acting like responsible “parents” of their dogs, the number and the magnitude of these claims will diminish and we will not receive premium increases from these avoidable acts.
The solution is an easy one. Owners need to put the safety of others first. They can do this by committing and following through with appropriate training and continuous monitoring of their pet’s actions.
For more information, your questions and/or a no obligation complimentary RisksNThreats Assessment, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 916-960-8758; mobile phone 925-285-6790