Tips for avoiding dog attacks if your family cat is not nearby

A domestic cat recently prevented serious injuries to its owner during a vicious dog attack. What do you do when your cat is not there to protect you?

A remarkable home security-camera video is creating quite a stir across the U.S. In mid-May, while a 4-year-old boy played on his own property, a neighboring dog viciously attacked him, biting his leg and dragging him down the driveway. Fortunately, the young lad's pet cat came to the rescue, pouncing on the large dog, scaring it away from her owner.

While the story has a mostly happy ending - the boy is recovering quickly from the bite wounds, which required 10 stitches to close -, the scene occurs far too frequently in Missouri. According to an ABC News report, Missouri ranks fourteenth in the nation for its high number of dog bite incidences. One insurance company in the state handled 88 dog attack claims last year for a combined payout to victims of $2 million.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 4.5 million people are victims of dog attacks every year. One million of those attacked - half of whom are children - require medical treatment for their injuries. The CDC ranks dog bites as the ninth leading cause of non-fatal injuries to children between the ages of 5 and 9.

Avoiding dog attacks

Unfortunately, not everyone owns a loyal cat that is willing to put its life in danger to protect its owner. However, following are some steps that may help you avoid attacks by dogs:

  • Never approach a strange dog
  • Pay attention to the dog's body language and stay away if it stands rigidly with its ears back
  • Maintain space between you and the dog and slowly back away if it appears to be aggressive
  • Do not turn your back
  • Stay calm and do not yell or kick at it
  • Avoid direct eye contact

The young boy, unfortunately, did nothing to provoke the attack, nor could he or his family have done anything to keep it from happening. If a dog does attack you, take actions after the mauling that may help hold a negligent owner responsible.

Help for attack victims

Homeowners and renters insurance policies often provide coverage to those injured by household pets. However, getting the insurance companies to pay for reconstructive surgery, emergency room care, permanent scarring and pain and suffering can be very difficult.

If an animal attacks you or someone you love, causing emotional or physical injuries, consult an experienced dog bite lawyer. A personal injury attorney knowledgeable about animal attacks can help you recover losses incurred as a result of injuries sustained.

Keywords: dog bite, animal attack, personal injury