Dog bite attacks are some of the worst kinds of cases, sometimes worse than say, a car accident. Victims of dog bites often suffer from anxiety and can have long-lasting fear of dogs and animals.
While most puncture type wounds heal and never leave a scar, more serious injuries may leave significant scars. For folks like me who tend to develop keloid scars, there can be residual pain in the area. For dog bite victims, not only is the red, raised scar painful, it is a permanent reminder of the attack. Mentally, scarring can be just as painful as the physical symptoms.
I witnessed a dog bite attack last year. It could not have lasted more than 30 seconds, probably less than that, maybe 20 seconds. It occurred in Philadelphia, in a neighborhood of row homes. A food delivery person was making a delivery when a dog next door pushed through an unlocked screen door and viciously attacked the man. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen. I was across the street, holding my infant daughter, waiting to pick up my son from school. There was nothing I could do but watch and yell for help.
It was February and cold, so the victim was wearing jeans and thermal underpants. The dog was biting and tearing at the man's leg. The dog's owner came out and got the dog, a black lab mix, and put him back inside. Again, the attack lasted less than 30 seconds, enough time to tear through the right leg of the jeans, but no more. Had the man not been wearing thermal underpants, the dog would have reached his bare skin.
The dog owner apologized profusely and kept saying that his dog had never done anything like that before and was the sweetest dog. He was genuine and I believed what he said. He did not believe that his dog was aggressive. Like most dog owners who find themselves facing a lawsuit for a dog attack/bite situation, they almost always say that their dog wasn't previously aggressive.
Witnessing this dog attack has made me especially cautious when I encounter an unleashed dog. I'm apprehensive because I think back to that dog bite and realize that anyone's ordinarily friendly dog can snap and attack. I would imagine that the dog bite victim, the delivery man, feels much much worse.
The words of wisdom I offer to dog owners - please leash or otherwise secure your dogs. Not only is it required under Pennsylvania law, your dog may be scaring others. Like the dog owner who genuinely believed that his dog was the sweetest dog, you may think the same, but one day, be horribly wrong. If that dog had attacked a child, instead of a delivery man, it could have been fatal.
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