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Dog Bites 12-Year-Old Boy, Then Bites Man Trying to Stop Attack

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Dog Bites on Wednesday, August 25, 2010.

A 12-year-old Escambia County boy who was walking with a friend on Tuesday was bitten by a dog that had escaped from its yard. When the dog’s owner and a construction worker ran to help, the dog bit the construction worker, as well.

The dog attack took place on Pinedale Lane in Escambia County, according to officials. The boy, whose name has not been released, was walking to a bus stop with his friend. Two dogs escaped from their yard and, when the boys started to run, one of the dogs bit the boy.

The boy sustained puncture wounds and torn muscles on his arms, and was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. The construction worker suffered dog bites to his right arm and was taken to West Florida Hospital.

James Chavers, the owner of the dog, whose name is Harley, also attempted to help the boy and was able to pull the attacking dog off of him. Chavers was not injured.

According to Sonya Daniel, spokesperson for Escambia County, both of the dogs are now under quarantine at the Escambia County animal shelter. An investigation will be conducted to determine whether the two dogs are dangerous and what will be done.

What Should You Do If a Dog Attacks You Or Your Child?

Unfortunately, dog bite injuries to children and adults are all too common. While we can’t control other people’s dogs, we can learn how to approach unfamiliar dogs, and how to respond when dogs attack. Know what to do and teach your children.

When approaching an unfamiliar dog:

  • Always ask permission
  • Approach calmly – never run toward or sneak up on an unknown dog.
  • Hold out your hand toward the dog, palm down and fingers closed. Allow the dog to approach you.
    • If the dog wants to be petted, he will lower his head, perk up his ears or approach you. Gently stroke the top of his head or along his back. Don’t poke or pat, and don’t pull his ears or tail.
    • If a dog puts his ears back flat on his head, cowers, or growls, don’t pet him!

If a dog attacks you, your response can make a big difference in whether the dog bites you at all, or how serious the bite may be:

  • Remain calm and try to stay still.
  • Don’t hit the dog — it will only make the situation worse. Overall, the strategy is to calm the situation down while shielding yourself from harm as much as possible.
  • Never run away from an attacking dog — its instinct will be to chase you. Instead, back away slowly.
  • If you are on the ground, curl up with your face to the ground and cover your head with your arms. Curl your hands into fists to protect your fingers.
  • Avoid eye contact with the dog, and don’t smile. Aggressive dogs may see those as a challenge.
  • Talk in a soft, soothing tone. Screaming can excite the dog and spur it on.
  • If the dog bites you, try not to pull away. Just as in a game of “tug,” dogs tend to pull back. Instead, try to put something between yourself and the dog and wait for the dog to let go.

Related Resources:

  • “Boy walking to bus is attacked by dog” (Pensacola News Journal, August 25, 2010)
  • “If Aggressive Dog Threatens You, Know What to Do” (The Early Show, CBS, June 22, 2010)
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