16-Year Old Girl Attacked
Dyersburg, TN - Over the weekend, a 16-year old girl was attacked by two pit bulls. She had been walking down the street when the dogs approached her. One was a brown female and the other was a grayish-color male. They ran toward her and went for her jacket, which she immediately took off. The gray dog then began biting her leg as the brown one latched on with a hold. It was reported that the girl tried not to move for fear of them attacking her further.
Two other people saw what was going on and tried to help the girl. They attempted to pull her away from the dog, but it held on to her leg. Finally, the pit bull released its grip and ran away with the other dog. A family friend rushed the girl to the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center emergency room, where she received treatment. Her wounds consisted of bite marks, scratches, puncture wounds and bleeding. Most of her wounds were too jagged for stitches.
Animal control officer Barry McCord said, "This kid could have been killed. If it had been a smaller kid, it probably would have crushed her leg." McCord and fellow officer Tim Hatch are concerned about pit bull attacks increasing as the weather heats up. "This has been my second one (bite case) in a month's time," said Hatch. He wants something done about the problem. McCord wants to ensure that the pit bulls are not returned to their owners. He added:
"Nine times out of 10 somebody's going to have to pay these medical bills and [the pit bull owners] are not going to pay them."
This may be DogsBite.org's first recorded instance of an animal control officer who has acknowledged this vital two-fold issue: medical bill cost and that pit bull owners can't pay it. Emergency Room treatment is extremely expensive. A 2007 survey of Florida hospitals shows the average ER visit (for any reason) to be $2,000-4,600. In the same year, the Insurance Information Institute reported that the average cost of dog bite claims rose to $24,511.*
Pit bull attack victims are nearly always rushed to the hospital, requiring emergency care. Tracy Lindsey was recently airlifted to a Florida trauma center after being attacked by two pit bulls. How much will her six surgeries cost? What about Charlotte Blevins? Within 30 days, her medical bills surpassed $100,000. Do you think pit bull owner, Tina Agerson, can pay any of it? What about the cost of treatment for Brenda Hill, who had her leg amputated?
Most insurance providers refuse to insure pit bulls because they do not want to be stuck with a potentially massive medical bill.
*If all dog bite claims average $24,511, and most insurance companies do not insure pit bulls -- and pit bulls are therefore not accurately represented in this average -- we imagine pit bull injury claims to be sufficiently higher.
04/02/09: Editorial: Pit Bull Owners "Too Vacuous" to Consider Consequences
02/13/09: Zupf: Pit Bull Attack Victim, Brenda Hill, Shares Her Attack Story
07/27/08: Bills Mount for Omaha Family of Dog Attack Victim
12/18/08: 275 Days in the Slammer for Pit Bull Owner Tina Agerson
10/11/08: Victims of Serious Dog Attacks Suffer Long After Attack