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Animal Welfare

California Is America's Dog Bite Leader

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Mon, May 19, 2014 at 7:02 AM
click to enlarge TARO THE SHIBA INU/FLICKR
California is the answer to that age-old question, Who let the dogs out?

State Farm Insurance says the Golden State led the nation in dog-bite claims last year. The company dealt with 449 of them in California, which accounted for $14.7 million in canine-attack payouts by State Farm. 

Los Angeles, meanwhile, was the No. 2 city in the nation for dog attacks on letter carriers, the U.S. Postal Service says. All this news is coming at you as National Dog Bite Prevention Week is upon us:

L.A., with 61 attacks on postal carriers, was beat out only by Houston, which saw 63 such reports, according to the USPS. San Diego, with 53 attacks, came in fourth (Cleveland was third and Chicago was fifth).

The service says 5,581 postal employees were attacked from coast to coast last year.  Postal Service manager of safety Linda DeCarlo:
There's a myth we often hear at the Postal Service. Don't worry - my dog won't bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.
click to enlarge USPS
  • USPS
About 4.5 million Americans are bitten each year, and half of those victims are children, the USPS says.

State Farm says it paid $104 million for dog-bite claims nationwide last year. In the span of five years, "Over half a billion in claim costs paid by State Farm," the company says.

Interestingly, the company says it won't charge you more for insurance if you own a pit bull:
State Farm doesn't discriminate among dog breeds and the company doesn't track breed types when dogs are involved in bite incidents.
Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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