Resources for Families Affected by Dog Bites

Dog bites are a common cause of serious injury in the United States. Our attorneys know the toll this type of incident can take on the victim, and we offer help and resources for families affected by dog bites. We encourage our San Diego, CA, clients, to take advantage of all available forms of assistance so that you can focus on your recovery.

Victims in search of legal advice or representation are encouraged to contact our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys today. We offer free consultations and can help you determine the appropriate amount of damages to pursue for your injuries.

A psychologist comforting a child dog bite victim

About Dog Attacks

Millions of people are attacked by dogs every year, resulting in injuries that can be severe or even deadly. About two-thirds of fatal dog attacks take place on the dog owner’s property, and victims are often children. Of the 34 people who passed away after a dog attack in 2015, 14 were children aged nine and younger.

Dog mauling incidents that do not prove fatal often leave devastating injuries, especially with children. When a smaller person is attacked by a large-sized dog, the experience can be tremendously frightening, and made worse when a child is bitten by an animal that they are familiar with. A vicious attack can leave physical and emotional scars.

Resources for Families

Anyone who has suffered an attack by a dog is likely to benefit from psychological counseling. Kids do not always admit to their fears, especially if it seems to upset their parents, so early trauma intervention is important for the whole family. Our firm provides referrals for clients in San Diego,  and Psychology Today has listings for counsellors nationwide.

There are several helpful internet sites that provide information and resources for dog bite victims:

Additionally, the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children also offers helpful information for parents.

Seeking medical attention, identifying the dog, and securing legal representation immediately can help ensure the best outcome.

Another website hosts a victim support group, and highlights an article written by a psychiatrist who was attacked by a dog as a child. Dr. Michelle King, who underwent multiple reconstructive surgery procedures after being mauled by a dog at age 11, explains the psychological impact and offers advice for caregivers.

Books that are read aloud can be very helpful for children who have suffered a traumatic dog bite injury. Some of these titles are used by counsellors and psychiatrists who treat kids with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and they can also be read by parents at home:

  • A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes – An animal character copes with fear and bad dreams after seeing “a terrible thing.” Age 4-7
  • Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma by Susan Farber Straus -- Helps kids deal with feelings after physical or emotional trauma, and offers coping strategies, such as developing a “feel good plan.” Age 6 and up
  • Brave Bart: A Story for Traumatized and Grieving Children by Caroline H. Sheppard, ACSW – A kitten copes with a “very bad, sad, and scary thing." Age 4 and up
  • Don’t Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs by Wendy Wahman – A humorous story that shows kids how to interact with unfamiliar dogs, with tips about dog behavior and reminders to “slow down and stay very still.” Age 4-8

Seeking Legal Help

A Victim Guide by dogsbite.org lists steps to take immediately following an animal attack. Seeking medical attention, identifying the dog, and securing legal representation immediately can help ensure the best outcome. If you would like to speak to an attorney who is prepared to fight for your family, please contact our law firm today.