In April of 1998, 8-year-old Courtney Trempe of Stouffville, Ontario, Canada was killed by a neighbor’s dog.
During the inquest, the jury created a list of 36 recommendations they felt would help prevent such a tragedy from occuring again.
Many of their ideas stressed the vital importance of education and information:
- Teach children about safety around dogs
- Help dog owners understand why they must responsibly train and enclose their pets
- Enlist the media’s help to spread information about dog bite prevention and cases
- Urge lawmakers to hold dog owner’s liable and enact stringent penalties for negligence,
- and help dog-bite victims recover – physically and emotionally
Courtney’s case, the jury’s recommendations, and public concern over the senseless tragedy all contributed to the formation of Doggone Safe, a nonprofit group based in Ontario.
I’ve represented many dog bite victims during my years as a NY and PA personal injury attorney, and written about New York state’s dog bite laws and what to do in the aftermath of a dog bite attack here on the NY Injury Law Blog. My posts came to the attention of Joan Orr, the president of Doggone Safe. She e-mailed me and asked for permission to link to some of my posts – and I’m very happy to spread the word about Doggone Safe and the resources the organization has available online.
Doggone Safe is devoted to the goals I’ve mentioned and more. The site offers prevention advice, article links and information, statistics, and recovery information for dog-bite victims.
According to Doggone Safe’s statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 133,000 American children under age 14 were bitten in 2001. And according to the CDC, the rate of dog bite–related injuries is highest for those children ages 5 to 9. What’s more, children are far more likely than adults to require medical attention.
On the hopeful side, the CDC also says that recent research shows that the rate of dog–bite related injuries among children seems to be decreasing. I think it is owing to education – the efforts of organizations like Doggone Safe.
Please visit the Doggone Safe website, which is packed with information about dog behaviour and preventing attacks. You can also learn more about Courtney Trempe and the memorial fund created in her name for dog-bite victims. For more information, visit www.doggonesafe.com, the blog, www.doggonesafe.blogspot.com, or call Doggone Safe at (877) 350-3232.
Thanks for reading and stay safe,
James B. Reed, Esq.
NY & PA Personal Injury Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
E-mail me at FreeReports@zifflaw.com for two free books:
NY Car Accidents and NY Car Insurance Secrets YOU Need to Know.