Recently, a rabid coyote attacked an elderly woman and her dog during their walk. Naturally, the woman’s first reaction was to protect her pet and fight off the coyote. Unfortunately, she was fighting a losing battle – the woman survived, but her dog did not.
Wild animals are not the only culprits. In Orange County, CA there have been a large number of domestic animal attacks, some of which have been fatal. These attacks can happen to anyone, anywhere. There are several ways to avoid both wild and domestic animal attacks:
1. In many parts of Orange County, especially in state parks and canyons, there are signs posted signifying that dogs are required to be on a leash. However, not everyone is willing to oblige, so it is wise to be aware of loose dogs (especially if you have a dog too). Walk in a different direction if possible or ask the owner to contain the dog.
2. Stray dogs are generally more dangerous than a dog with its owner. There is no way to know from a distance if a stray dog is friendly. The best thing to do is keep your distance and avoid the dog. Avoid anything that could cause the dog to want to run up to you; this includes eye contact, talking to the dog, or running from the dog.
3. To keep small pets safe from coyotes, try to avoid walking them in or near canyons in the early morning or evening. If you live in a canyon, it is always wise to keep your pets inside overnight. This precautionary measure is not only to avoid coyote attacks, but also attacks by possums, skunks and raccoons. If you walk into your backyard and encounter one of these critters, they most likely will run. However, a dog will chase them and could get seriously injured if attacked.
The following website offers more advice on what to do if attacked by a stray dog.
There are various reasons why a stray dog will attack a person or another dog. It could be because the dog is sick, it has rabies, or it has been abused and is scared. The breed of a dog is also a determining factor.
Pit Bulls and Rottweilers have been responsible for a number of fatal dog attacks in the U.S. You probably remember the Diane Whipple story: http://www.sfdogmauling.com/, or the 12-year-old boy who was attacked in 2005 by his family’s two Pit Bulls.
If you own dogs, it is wise to make sure your yard is securely fenced in. When walking your dogs, always have them on a leash for their own protection and for the safety of others. There are also many good dog trainers in Southern California that can provide affordable obedience training.
When visiting neighbors or friends that have pets, be aware. Dogs that are new mothers can be protective of their pups and can become aggressive.
Dogs are not the only animals to be aware of. Ferrets, cats, rabbits, birds and hamsters are among many animals that people have as family pets. If you have been attacked and injured by someone’s pets, you need to know your rights. Contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free case consultation.