New Dog Bite Laws for the City of College Park

Pit bull.jpgAs dog bites have become more and more of a problem throughout metro Atlanta, one community has decided to try and combat the problem. City officials in College Park are now requiring dog owners of breeds deemed “potentially dangerous” to register with the city and pay an yearly fee of $25.00. The dogs must be registered whether they have bitten someone or not. The breeds include:

-German Shepard
-Staffordshire Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-Pit Bull
-American Pit Bull Terrier
Dogs not included in this list that have bitten someone in the past without provocation must also be registered with the city. If owners do not abide by the new rules they will face fines.

The reason that these particular breeds are being focused on is because they have the ability to “inflict serious injury,” according to College Park Council Member Ambrose Clay. City officials in College Park believe that it will make it easier to trace dogs that make an attack back to their owners. In the past, dog owners have many times been extremely hard to track down, thus making it close to impossible for the responsible party to be held accountable. College Park Officials hope that this plan will not only alleviate this problem, but also promote a culture of owners being accountable for the actions of their pets.

Hopefully the plan in College Park will be successful in curbing the amount of dog attacks and serve as a model for other areas in the Atlanta metro area. If you are a dog owner, especially of an animal that is prone to attack others, it’s extremely important to be responsible for your dog. As a lawyer that handles dog bite claims, there are many things you should keep in mind. First, home owner’s insurance policies will typically cover a dog bite incident whether the incident occurred on the property or not. If your dog attacks someone it is important to notify your insurance as soon as possible. From our experience, residential insurance policies will typically provide around $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. Having insurance protection is important because every year 800,000 Americans, half of whom are children, are treated medically for dog bites, with the average cost in 2010 for the medical treatment being $26,166.

If you are ever faced with the terrible situation of being attacked by a dog, Bob Conklin a professional dog trainer at Hudson Valley K9 academy has some tips on how to protect yourself or your child from the dog attack.

What Not To Do:
– Don’t run. If you do this it triggers the dog’s prey drive.

-If the dog catches you and starts attacking you, don’t hit it. The more you fight back the more the dog’s defensive drive kick in.

What to Do:
– If approached by a vicious dog stay relaxed and as calm as possible
– Do not make eye contact
– Cover your ears and press your elbows to your sides. This will protect you ears, eyes, rib cage, and other vital organs
– If the dog grabs your arm or leg, try not to move. If the dog thinks you are dead, it should let go.

How to Rescue a Child:
– Grab an object and start hitting the dog so you can redirect it
– Grab the area of the sides of the dog’s neck. This will control the dog’s head and keep it from swinging around to bite you.

– Grab the dog’s Adam’s apple and choke it
– DO NOT pull the dog off the child, as it can rip or tear the skin right off of their body.

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