Homeless dogs lying down

Although packs of free-roaming, vicious dogs are the stuff of our nightmares, statistics say we are more likely to be bitten by dogs we know. However, avoiding a tragic situation is largely in our hands. Experts say we can dramatically reduce the number of serious or deadly dog bites by neutering and by raising animals to be well-socialized, well-trained family members (as opposed to having neglected outdoor "protection" dogs).

Dog-bite data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show us how these incidents are more likely to happen close to home:

  • 80 percent of dog-bite incidents involving children are inflicted by a family dog (30 percent) or a neighbor's dog (50 percent).
  • 75 percent of fatal dog bites were inflicted on family members or guests on the family's property.
  • 8 percent of dog bites involving adults were work-related (inflicted on such workers as meter readers, repairmen, etc.).