Research & Policy Think Tank

NEW INFOGRAPHIC Preventable Factors in Dog Bite-Related Fatalities

In 2013, the “Co-occurrence of potentially preventable factors in 256 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States (2000-2009)” was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. As the culmination of over a decade of research, it is the most comprehensive and reliable analysis of dog bite-related fatalities, focusing on multiple and verifiable data points. The goal was to identify co-occurring factors that might give us concrete insight into preventing DBRFs.

We’ve broken down those findings and their importance in this infographic. What they all have in common is that they involve human decisions about interacting with dogs. This is counter to what many people believe is the main cause of DBRFs – a dog’s breed. In fact, in the majority of cases involving DBRFs, a dog’s breed could not be verified. But, again, what could be verified were the preventable human choices.

The infographic also outlines why using media reports to determine a dog’s breed creates unreliable datasets. If we really want to reduce dog bite-related fatalities, we need to focus on facts and verifiable data because solutions created out of unreliable data aren’t really solutions at all.