A family dog named Tyson, a boxer breed, attacked a nine-month male infant in his own living room. Injuries to the infant involved the head and neck. The child underwent surgery at Children’s Hospital – Oakland. Freemont animal control authorities have the dog quarantined. The family dog attacked an adult family member just two weeks prior to the attack on the infant. 

Approximately eighty percent of dog bites occur by a dog that is known to the victim and is usually a pet of the owner or neighbor. Children are three times more likely than adults to sustain serious injuries from dog bites. Over half of the child victims sustain significant injuries to the face. Statistics show that the younger the child the more likely that injury will be sustained to the head and neck. Children are at a greater risk for being bitten because their lack of experience in interpreting a dog’s pre-bite behavior while attempting to play with dogs.    

It is important to discern between dog bites and canine homicide. One kennel reported that of the children killed by dogs (canine homicide), nearly 70% of the victims were under the age of ten-years-old, nearly 22% are under the age of one year and approximately 7% were sleeping infants. Any dog can and will bite under certain circumstances.   

It is important to remember the greatest single cause of canine homicide and dog bites are irresponsible dog owners. Dog owners that do not take responsibly for properly training and supervising their dogs are the single greatest cause of dog bites and dog attacks. Experienced pet owners know how much responsibility and work are required to choose the appropriate dog to bring into the home and neighborhood where children are present. A majority of dog bite incidents occur because the dog owners did not fully appreciate the necessity for educating themselves to the proper methods of raising, socializing and supervising the dog.   

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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