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Dog Bite Bill

By: AP
By: AP

A plan in the state Legislature to open up dog owners to liability the first time their dog bites someone has been killed in a state House committee.

Lawmakers said it would drive up the cost of homeowners insurance too much.

State law says generally that dog owners can only be held responsible for the first attack if they knew the dog was dangerous. The proposed change would have opened up a homeowners' liability even if the dog had never attacked before.

Manitou Springs Representative Michael Merrifield says hesponsored the bill after seeing photos of the two victims including a 41-year-old Elbert County woman who was attacked and killed by³three pit bulls.

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How to Avoid a Dog Attack
Here's How:

  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on leash.
  • Ask owner's permission before approaching a dog, on leash or in yard.
  • Never approach a barking, snarling, sleeping, eating, or nursing dog.
  • Do not stare the dog in the eyes.
  • Turn sideways and slowly withdraw.
  • Put an object such as a tree, post, or bench between you and the dog.
  • Speak softly and gently to calm the dog, "Good dog, it's OK, go home."
  • Stand still or maintain a constant slow pace out of the dog's territory.
  • If local law allows, use pepper spray when charged by the dog.
  • If charged, get something between you and the dog's mouth: umbrella, pack, jacket, stick.
  • If attacked, curl up in a ball and protect your face, neck, and head.
  • Report unleashed aggressive dogs to the local police.

Tips:

  • You can't outrun the dog, not even an Olympic sprinter could.
  • Be aware of dogs a block or more ahead, change your route or turn around to avoid unleashed dogs.
  • Know the weapons laws in the community you are walking in and obey them.

    www.walking.about.com contributed these tips.


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