• Last modified 1622 days ago (Feb. 13, 2020)


Insurance agent breaks down statistics on dog bites

Staff writer

Insurance agent Alex Case gave Marion Kiwanis members a view of the problem of dog bite injuries in Marion County and nationwide Feb. 5 when he spoke at the club’s weekly meeting.

Case said statistics show that 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States.

Over the 15-year span of 2001 to 2016, 5.5 million patients needed emergency medical treatment for dog bites and over 91,000 patients were hospitalized.

Between 2005 and 2018, 469 people — more than half of them younger than 10 — died from dog bites in the U.S., he said.

The breed most often identified as having inflicted serious injury or death between 1982 and 2014 was the pit bull, but more than 30 breeds and mixed breeds of dogs are incorrectly identified as pit bulls, Case said.

People often identify a blocky-headed dog or mixed breed between 35 and 100 pounds as “a pit bull.”

Pit bulls are three times as likely to be named a culprit in a serious dog attack than the next nine breeds together.

The other breeds are Rottweiler, German shepherd, bullmastiff, wolf hybrids, husky, Akita, boxer, chow, and Labrador retriever.

Homeowner’s insurance policies paid more than $686 million in dog-bite related claims during 2017.

The average claim cost $37,051.

Medical insurance policies paid the majority of dog bite treatment expenses.

Case said that although far fewer cat bites are reported in the U.S. each year, the chance of getting rabies from a cat is much higher.

In 2009, 81 rabies cases came from dogs and 300 came from cats.

Last modified Feb. 13, 2020