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April 12, 2024

As we approach the anniversary of the dog attack defendant taking a plea deal in the case of the 2 loose dogs attacking me and Mr. Stix (from behind, without warning) in November 2021, I saw some new dog attack statistics I wanted to share. The numbers are interesting, but they also are misleading. Let me explain why. 

Dog Attack Statistics

A report from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm (published in early April 2024) says that "U.S. insurers paid out $1.12 billion in dog-related injury claims in 2023."

dog attack statistics - $1.12 billion in dog-related injury claims last year

Dog Attack Statistics Report Details

Types of injuries. The report includes both dog bite statistics and data for injuries caused by dogs running into and/or knocking down their victims. 

Decrease in average cost of claims. The average cost per dog attack claim dropped from $64,555 to $58,545, year over year. (Wow! Since I pursued legal avenues, our restitution ... since it did not include lost income or costs of mental health / PTSD treatment ... seems paltry.)

Number of claims. The number of dog bites and dog-related injury claims in 2023 totaled 19,062.

Increase in dog attack claims. That's an increase of 8% from 2022. However, in the past 10 years, it's an increase of 110%!

dog attack statistics - The number of dog bites and dog-related injury claims has increased 110% in the past decade.

States With the Most Dog Attack Insurance Claims

The report also says that these states ranked highest for dog bite and dog-related injury claims:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Texas

The Problem with Dog Attack Stats

So, here's the problem with these and really any dog attack stats.

Many (I would argue most) dog attacks go unreported unless they land someone in the hospital or morgue. That means these numbers are likely VERY low!

In this case, the report ONLY appears to include dog attacks on people, not on other pets ... since the press release about it goes on to offer dog bite prevention tips for people. 

Also, it only includes claims to home insurance, not medical insurance.

So Many Dog Attacks

One of my cousin's tiny chi-mix got attacked by a huge mastiff in November 2023. We just found out this week that animal control has completely dropped the ball. It seems the original investigating officer didn't leave enough information for others to follow, so now someone new is on the case and having to start over. It's both disappointing and infuriating. Send all mojo to my cousin and her sweet dog, Belle!

Dog attack victim photo - small, black chihuahua mix

Recent notes from the animal control officer ... now 5 months since the attack, and they still have not served a citation to the defendants!

dog attack example 1 - text message from ACO acknowledging they bungled the investigation
dog attack example 1 - text message from ACO acknowledging they bungled the investigation
About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. You are so right that there is a problem with dog attack stats. Too many go unreported and
    when the attack involves another dog it doesn't count. There was a recent attack in Edmonton where an eleven year old was killed by two dogs while sitting on his couch having a snack. These dogs were owned by a roommate in the home. The sad thing is there was a previous attach on an elderly woman by the same two dogs that wasn't dealt with by animal control. This whole event could have been avoided if the owner of the dogs was made to take responsibility for the dogs in the first place.

    1. That’s so awful. That’s absolutely the issue. IF people reported every attack / bite, then we could avoid others being at risk … especially in terrible cases like this.

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