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Pit bulls have been seen roaming Victoria. This is particularly troubling because this breed has been known to injure and kill people and other animals at an alarming rate.

During 1997 and 1998, at least 27 people died of dog bite attacks (18 in 1997 and 9 in 1998). At least 25 breeds of dogs have been involved in 238 human DBRF during the past 20 years. Pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers were involved in more than half of these deaths. Of 227 reports with relevant data, 55 (24%) human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off their owners’ property, 133 (58%) involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property, 38 (17%) involved restrained dogs on their owners’ property, and 1 (< 1%) involved a restrained dog off its owner's property.

Although it may be unfair to make the generalization that all pit bulls are dangerous, it is also irresponsible not to take precautions. Children are the most frequent victims of these attacks and should be watched closely. In fact, dog attacks are one of the most likely reasons for children to end up in the emergency room. Ultimately it is the owner’s responsibility to control their animal. If a dog has shown a propensity to injure, it is imperative that something be done to prevent a serious injury or fatality.

If you or your child is bitten by an animal that is known to be dangerous, you may have a claim against the owner of the dog. Claims against dog owners are usually covered by home owners insurance.

In 2006 dog bites cost insurers $351.4 million, up 10.8 percent from the previous year. While the number of claims paid by insurers fell from approximately 20,800 in 2002 to 15,000 in 2005 — a decrease of 28 percent — the cost of the average dog bite claim rose sharply, from roughly $16,600 in 2002 to $21,200 in 2005. Liability claims account for approximately 4 percent of homeowners claims.

See this for helpful hints on avoiding dog attacks.

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