If you have heard news stories covering animal attacks, specifically dogs, then you probably know they can get pretty serious. In a recent story, a couple was charged with second degree murder after their two large dogs mauled a jogger to death in rural Detroit, Michigan. Although death is not always associated with dog attacks, anyone who has been snapped at, pursued or bitten by a loose dog knows the dangers and how to prevent future encounters. For those who are not aware, here are a few tips to stay safe if you encounter a vicious animal.
Why Do Dogs Attack?
Not all dogs will attack, but in the case of the jogger (or any jogger for that matter) the motion triggers a prey instinct. It is primarily up to the owner to discipline their animal. Dogs that bark at anyone who pass by is a defense mechanism that if not controlled each time will eventually become a habit for the animal. As the dog learns that when they bark as a person goes by, the person will eventually leave. If not corrected, this will become a forced habit and the animal will become more and more aggressive.
Avoid Being Bitten
If confronted by a vicious dog, DO NOT RUN. Make slow and cautious movements which will slow down the animal and throws them off.
- Stand sideways and do not look the animal straight in the eye.
- If carrying a cane/umbrella/stick, place it firm in hand between you and the animal. (This will make you seem more in control of your space, not claiming the dog’s space.)
More than likely the dog will sense that you are not threatening and decrease its interest in you.
If An Attack Occurs
In some cases, the stance mentioned above does not always help, more so if you are an unsuspecting victim. The first step if attacked is to let the dog grab on to something you are wearing, more so if it is long enough (i.e. a sweater, pant leg, etc.). If you are a runner or enjoy the outdoors, getting into the habit of carrying something extra with you that could be used as a safety device if an attack were to happen.
Getting into a beetle position and shielding yourself with your arms is one way to protect yourself if attacked. If you are bitten, resist the urge to pull away. The dog will latch on harder making the bite deeper and overall worse.
West Virginia Dog Bite Attorney
These tips will hopefully help you if you encounter a vicious dog. Remember that all dogs are not naturally aggressive. We cannot always avoid the problem caused by negligent dog owners, but taking precautions before an attack were to occur can save your life. This type of irresponsible conduct is not tolerated in the state of West Virginia. If you or someone you know has suffered from injuries caused by a dog attack, contact the law firm of Tiano O’Dell for a consultation.