Why Dog Attacks Are on the Rise and How To Prevent Them

Responsible dog ownership is key, veterinarians say.

By Alain StephensMay 16, 2016 11:07 am,

Last week, doctors removed a Dallas woman in a medically induced coma from life support after reportedly receiving over 100 bites from a pack of stray dogs on May 2. Many cities across Texas are struggling with a stray problem, but Houston apparently is the worst – it was named the number one city in the nation when it comes to dog attacks on postal carriers.

Houston-based veterinarian and officer with the American Veterinary Medical Association Dr. Lori Teller specializes in canine and feline medicine. She says the weather contributes to the rise in dog incidents. After periods of rain or otherwise unpleasant weather, owners take their dogs outside.

“More people are out with their dogs, more dogs are out running loose,” she says. “Lots of people lost fences during the storms so dogs have gotten out that way too.”

But with the rising frequency of dog attack stories, are people losing compassion for man’s best friend? “Obviously human health needs to come first,” she says. “We need to be able to protect our children and our elderly who have a more difficult time defending themselves against dog attacks.”

Dr. Teller suggests programming and awareness among dog owners as part of the solution. “There needs to be better animal control, and there needs to be more responsible dog ownership,” she says, “which of course boils down to some education.”

Listen to the full interview in the player above.