The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community News Network

May 14, 2014

Dog-bite claims rise to record

NEW YORK — Dog-bite claims for U.S. insurers climbed 5.5 percent last year to 17,359, breaking the record from 2003, as New York had the costliest attacks among states with the most incidents.

The assaults cost the insurance industry $483.7 million, the Insurance Information Institute said Wednesday in a statement. The average cost in New York State was $43,122 per claim, compared with $27,862 nationwide.

Insurers and health officials are seeking to limit the confrontations, which accounted for more than one-third of homeowners liability claims costs last year, the institute said. Almost 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and about a fifth of those incidents require medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Dog attacks are directly attributable to the owners of the dog -- that's almost always true," said Kenneth Phillips, a Los Angeles attorney who represents victims of dog bites. "Most of the time when this happens people are not leashing their dogs."

Dog owners are encouraged to play non-aggressive games with their pets, such as "go fetch," rather than tug of war, the institute said. Parents should tell children to avoid disturbing animals while they are eating or sleeping, and dogs shouldn't be left alone with infants, according to statement. National Dog Bite Prevention Week begins May 18.

California, the most populous U.S. state, had the highest number of claims from dog bites last year at 1,919. The attacks cost an average of $33,709 in the state.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the biggest provider of residential coverage in the U.S., said an increase in costs has coincided with a period in which there were fewer dogs in the country. Phillips said the popularity of more aggressive animals, such as some pit bulls, may have fueled higher expenses.

"You don't have man's best friend here," the lawyer said. "When it goes off and hurts a person, it lays a lot of pain on them."

Victoria Stilwell, the dog trainer who is the star of Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog" and is working with Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm to improve safety, said the answer isn't to ban certain types of pets.

The solution is to "raise awareness of canine behavior through education, as well as encouraging responsible dog ownership," she said.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think heroin is a significant problem in Madison County?

Yes, it has surpassed meth as the problem drug
Yes, but meth is still a bigger problem
No, this was an isolated case
Not sure
     View Results