What to do when confronted by an unfamiliar or aggressive dog

According to State Farm Insurance, New York is among the top ten states for dog bite claims. The United States Postal Service reports that thousands of letter carriers are bitten by dogs each year, but children across the nation are 900 times more likely than a letter carrier to suffer from a dog bite. To raise awareness of this issue, the USPS is sponsoring National Dog Bite Prevention week, which began May 19 and runs through May 25.

The USPS and many other experts are offering advice about how to approach dogs, what to do in the event of an attack and what to do after an attack in recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

According to the Humane Society, it is important to be aware and respectful of dogs. If you notice that a dog looks tense, is growling or displaying other body language that indicates the dog could attack, there are definitely manners to mitigate escalating the situation. Panicking and sprinting away will in most instances trigger a dog to chase you. Instead:

  • Stand still, avoid direct eye contact and do not turn your back
  • Slowly back away if the dog loses interest

If a dog does come at you, in order to protect yourself:

  • Try to give the dog a purse or anything else handy
  • Curl in a ball, protecting your ears and face with your hands and arms

If a victim is bitten by a dog in New York:

  • First seek medical treatment
  • Report the animal to a control agency
  • Document the injuries with photographs

In some instances, there can be financial compensation available for medical expenses and related trauma suffered in a dog attack. Speaking to an experienced attorney will assist an individual in pursuing such compensation.

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