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Dog Mauls 3-year-old Girl in Billings

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This is a picture of an angry dog that is ready to bite

Dog Mauls 3-year-old Girl in Billings

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A three-year-old girl, Naomi Brown, was attacked by a dog a few days ago in Billings.  The girl is currently recovering in a Denver hospital.  The attack required surgery to repair the ligaments that were damaged in her right wrist.  According to an article on NBC Montana’s website, the bull mastiff was injured on her face and neck in the attack.  According to the report, Naomi was being watched by her father at a grandma’s house.  Animal control was unsure what prompted the attack.  The dog was later euthanized.

Dog attacks can be some of the saddest cases we handle, especially when they involve children because children are unable to properly interpret a dog’s emotions and the signs that a dog might give that it might attack.  We hope that Naomi can make a speedy recovery from her surgeries.  In this article, we shall give a few tips to help prevent dog bites.  Any suggestions to prevent a dog bite are worth considering.  However, it is important to recognize that any dog can bite and that there is not a foolproof plan to prevent a dog that is set on attacking a human.

  • Pay Attention to Body Language
    • The Humane Society recommends watching a dog’s body language is the first way to prevent a dog bite. Although a dog can bite randomly, usually there will be some indications beforehand like:
      • A stiffened tail
      • Head and ears pulled back
      • A tensed body
      • Furrowed brow
      • Whites of eyes visible
      • Intense Stare
      • Backing away
    • In these instances, a dog might feel threatened.
  • Back Away Slowly (If the dog is displaying any of the signs listed above)
    • As mentioned above, if a dog feels threatened, it is more likely to bite. Putting a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog can help the dog feel safer.  Never scream and try to run away.  These reactions could startle the dog, and the likelihood that it feels the need to defend itself.
  • Remain Motionless (If the dog starts to approach)
    • Keep your hands down and avoid eye contact with the dog. Some even suggest turning your body sideways.
    • When the dog loses interest, then you can begin to back away slowly.
  • Put Something Between You and the Dog (If the dog attacks)
    • If the dog does attack, put something between you and the dog like a purse, jacket, anything you can.
    • If the dog knocks you to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands covering your ears, remaining motionless.
  • Never Allow Children to Approach a Dog that is Sleeping, Eating, Chewing, or Caring for Puppies.
    • These are more vulnerable situations for dogs. Approaching them during these moments can put the dog on edge.
  • Don’t Approach a Dog without the Owner’s Permission
    • Owners are responsible for their dogs. They usually know the dog’s nature and can better identify if the dog is uncomfortable with a certain situation.

 

There are entire websites dedicated to preventing dog bites.  This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but following many of these tips could help.  The American Veterinary Medical Foundation notes that properly training a dog and educating children can play a big part in the dog’s likelihood to bite.  If you have any questions about a dog bite, feel free to give us a call.  The Advocates Law is always willing to answer your questions.

 

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