In 2015, over 4.4 million Americans reported being bitten and almost 20% of them required medical attention. That translates into five victims and one emergency room visit every 6 minutes, all year long.
34 people – 14 of them being children ages nine or younger – have died as a result of dog bites. And a closer look revealed some surprising facts.
Here are three must-know statistics, backed by 2015 data:
3 Breeds are Responsible for 97% of Dog-Bite Related Deaths
American Bulldogs, Pit bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for 33 of the 34 fatal dog bites that occurred last year. Maybe these breeds are generally unstable. Maybe people who choose them are prone to mistreat animals. Either way, it’s clear that these breeds should be approached with caution. Pet Pit Bulls are officially considered lethal weapons in some jurisdictions.
Pit Bulls are, hands down, the most dangerous pets in the country. They caused a total of 28 deaths – one every two weeks. Rottweilers and Bulldogs were responsible for the other 5 fatal outcomes.
Bite Victims Pay Over $1 Billion in Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses Each Year
In 2015, almost 890,000 Americans needed emergency medical care after being bitten by dogs. So, every day, over 2,000 people were billed for extensive, overpriced treatment, which isn’t covered by most health insurance plans.
About 15,500 (out of 890,000) victims of dog-related injuries received financial compensation. Meanwhile, the rest (96%) of them had to pay an average of $1,100-1,200 each in medical expenses.
4 Out of 5 Dog-Bite Fatalities Happened to Children & Senior Citizens
Almost 80% of the victims who die as a result of dog bites are young kids and their grandparents. Among the 34 fatal biting victims reported in 2015, 14 were under the age of nine. Thirteen others were over 60.
The worst part is that only 60% of these attacks were caused by non-family pets. This means that 14 dog owners died due to being bitten by their own dogs. On top of that, 24 deaths (over 70%) happened on the owner’s property.
The statistics are scary, to say the least. Yet, analyzing them allows us to understand the underlying causes of the problem. And, when it comes to dog bites, spreading awareness is the most effective prevention tool out there.