By Amalia Kortright, For The Tribune
After paying over $1 million in dog-bite related insurance claims, State Farm is teaming up with the National Dog bite Prevention Coalition for National Dog Bite Prevention Week from May 5-21. National Dog Bite Prevention Week is lead by the American Veterinary Medical Association, in order to educate children and adults on ways to prevent dog related injuries.
While the majority of interactions with dogs are harmless, over 4.5 million people are injured in dog-related circumstances each year. Around 20 percent of dog bites require medical attention.
Postal workers are some of the most vulnerable pedestrians to dog attacks. According to the U.S. Postal Service, 6,500 mail carriers were bitten in 2015, which was a 14 percent increase from the previous year. Senior citizens are the second most common canine attack victims, with children topping the list, being over 50 percent of all dog bite victims.
The AVMA states that responsible pet ownership is the best way to prevent any dog related injuries. Rental insurance is a must for renters, because most landlords do not cover dog bite incidents. Homeowners are also encouraged to talk to their insurance agent about standard homeowner polities related to dogs.
According to the AVMA, any dog can bite, which is why State Farm doesn’t ask about dog breeds when writing insurance.
“Stereotyping a certain breed can lead to letting your guard down and falling victim to an attack,” said State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson.