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Michigan among top states for dog bites

A recent study by a national insurance agency ranked all 50 states in terms of the number of dog bite claims. Michigan ranked highly as the state with the sixth most dog bite claims in the nation. As you know every animal owner in Michigan has a responsibility to maintain control of their animal and ensure that other people are safe from being attacked any time that they may encounter their animal. A dog owner in Michigan is responsible by law for injuries caused by their dog.

While discussing the high ranking of Michigan in the number of dog bite injuries, the animal control officer for the Port Huron police department noted that there has been a recent spike in the number of animal attacks. He said that he has specifically noticed an increase in the number of attacks by pit-bulls.

Many dog enthusiast and pit-bull owners will tell you that it is not the fault of the breed or the animal, but instead negligent or uninformed pit-bull owners as well as media hype that gives pit-bulls a bad name. It is certainly true that there are many well behaved and friendly dogs of every breed. It is also true that regardless of temperament, there are some dogs, such as pit bulls, that simply have more powerful jaws resulting in more serious injuries in the event of a bite. So while it could be argued that a poorly raised Pomeranian is just as likely to attack a person as a pit-bull, the results would be remarkably different.

It is important that people act carefully around dogs and do not approach unfamiliar dogs. This is especially true for children. But this does not change the fact that is the dog owners responsibility to maintain control of their animal under any circumstance.

Source: The Times Herald, "State is sixth in nation for dog bite claims," Julianne Mattera, May 16, 2012

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