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Dog bites may be more likely from animals tied up outside

8/1/2014

Dog bites are often attributed to a higher genetic level of aggressiveness in certain breeds, but even normally friendly dogs may be more likely to bite in certain circumstances. Dogs can bite for many reasons, including out of fear, because they are sick or injured or to protect their owners from a perceived threat. Dog bites may be more common during the summer months, however, because more dogs are chained up outside for longer periods of time.

Current Massachusetts law prohibits a dog from being tied up outside for longer than 24 hours. However, some animal activists believe even this is too long and have been protesting by spending hours outside tethered to a tree or pole in protest. While the activists’ primary consideration may be for the animals themselves, a dog chained up outside may also be more likely to bite.

According to a representative from the organization Dogs Deserve Better, tethering a dog out of the house for long periods of time is unhealthy for pets even when the weather is mild. She reminded Massachusetts residents that dogs are pack animals and want to be near their families. Extended periods of time away from the “pack” can make a dog more nervous or insecure and, therefore, more likely to bite.

A dog that is chained up also has nowhere to go when it feels threatened and cannot run away. Even a docile dog can bite if it is scared and has no escape route. It’s important for owners to understand their responsibilities in protecting their pets and other people. If a victim is injured in a dog attack and the owner was negligent, the courts may award the victim monetary compensation to help with expenses and pain and suffering.

Source: WWLP, “The dangers of keeping dogs chained up in the summer” Alessandra Martinez, Jul. 12, 2014

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