Jaylynn Lizzmore, a 12 year-old girl on Jacksonville's Southside was attacked by two dogs as she walked home from her bus stop. Jaylynn fortunately escaped a situation that could have resulted in life threatening injuries. Jaylynn did the right thing during the attack covering her face and head with her arms. Jaylynn managed to get help from her neighbors until the police arrived. Her mother reported the same dogs three weeks earlier after they attacked Jaylynn's sister. The dogs were described as a pit bull and a German Shephard. The dogs bit a police officer and seriously injured a dachshund before they were apprehended by the owners. Our neighborhoods should be free from vicious dogs, our children deserve to walk outside, ride their bikes and play outside without fear of a dog attack. Unfortunately, our neighborhoods are not always safe from vicious dogs. Please take the time to teach your children what to do if they are ever in an animal attack situation. If you need legal answers about a dog bite injury- Learn More.
Where do dog bites happen?
It may surprise you to know that over half of dog-bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar to us. Among children and adults, having a dog in the household is associated with a higher likelihood of being bitten than not having a dog. As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the likelihood of being bitten. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.
Preventing dog bites
Basic safety tips
- Remain motionless (e.g., "be still like a tree") when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- Curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck if a dog knocks you over.
- Immediately let an adult know about stray dogs or dogs that are behaving strangely.
- Approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Run from a dog.
- Panic or make loud noises.
- Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- Encourage your dog to play aggressively.
- Let small children play with a dog unsupervised.
If approached by an unknown dog, "be still like a tree."
What do you do if an unfamiliar dog approaches you and you do not want to interact with a dog?
- Stop! Stay still and be calm.
- Do not panic or make loud noises.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
- Say "No" or "Go Home" in a firm, deep voice.
- Stand with the side of your body facing the dog. Facing a dog directly can appear aggressive to the dog. Instead, keep your body turned partially or completely to the side.
- Slowly raise your hands to your neck, with your elbows in.
- Wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away.
What if you get bitten or attacked by a dog?
- Put your purse, bag, or jacket between you and the dog to protect yourself.
- If you are knocked down, curl into a ball with your head tucked in and your hands over your ears and neck.
- When you get to a safe place, immediately wash wounds with soap and water. Seek medical attention, especially:
- If the wound is serious (uncontrolled bleeding, loss of function, extreme pain, muscle or bone exposure, etc.).
- If the wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen, or if you develop a fever.
- If it has been more than 5 years since your last tetanus shot and the bite is deep.
- Because anyone who is bitten by a dog is at risk of getting rabies, consider contacting your local animal control agency or police department to report the incident, especially:
- If you don't know if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies.
- If the dog appears sick or is acting strangely.
- If possible, contact the owner and ensure the animal has a current rabies vaccination. You will need the rabies vaccine license number, name of the veterinarian who administered the vaccine, and the owner's name, address, and phone number.
See a healthcare provider immediately
- If wounds appear infected (red, painful, warm, or swollen).
- If you do not know the dog or if the dog does not have a current rabies vaccination certificate, because you might need treatment to prevent rabies.
If you have legal questions about an aggressive dog injury Learn More