Last year, nearly 5,900 letter carriers were bitten nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly two percent of the American population is bitten by a dog each year, and most of the victims are children.
The most recent statistics from the 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographic Sourcebook states that there are 72,114,000 dogs in the United States; 43,021,000 households own dogs in the U.S., and that equates to 37.2 percent of households.
Clearly, parents must never leave a defenseless infant with a dog and must make sure that older children know the potential danger of dog attacks. It is also important to know that studies have shown that dogs are three times more likely to be involved in a biting incident if they have not been spayed or neutered.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has found that the breed of animal most commonly involved in dog attacks can change from year to year, and from one part of the country to another, depending on the popularity of the breed. According to the HSUS, while some breeds are more likely to bite, other factors like whether the animal has been spayed or neutered, and whether the animal has been properly socialized, safely confined, properly supervised, and humanely trained play great roles in a dog's tendency to bite. Dog owners can prevent serious injuries to others by realizing their important role in dog bite prevention.
Daniel M. Roux