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The number of animal bites are on the rise

With the weather warming up in Cook County, many residents are excited to spend their free time outdoors. However, they should be aware that with the nice weather comes an increase in the risk of suffering an animal bite. According to Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control, located in Iowa, 44 bites from multiple animals in that city were reported in May alone as compared to 26 bites in May 2013.

It is believed that the rise in numbers is a result of the growth of the community. As a community becomes larger, the number of pets or encounters with wild animals increases. While not all animal bites are serious, there is always the risk that the animal carries rabies. However, many people fail to take this risk seriously. Those who are infected with rabies may suffer damage to their central nervous system. If not treated, the disease is frequently fatal.

The report offered several pieces of advice to help reduce the risk of being bitten by an animal. If the animal is domesticated, it is always smart to ask the owner if it is safe to pet the animal. If the owner gives permission, the animal should always be approached slowly. If the animal is wild, it should never be approached since it is uncertain if it carries any diseases.

If someone suffers injuries in a dog attack, it is usually the responsibility of the animal's owner to pay for any medical bills, regardless of how severe the injuries are. In order to seek compensation, the injured person should file a claim against the owner of the dog. If disfigurement occurred, the injured person may also seek compensation for any future medical bills that may be incurred or for reconstructive surgery.

Source: CBS 2 Iowa, "Animal Bites on the Rise in CR", June 12, 2014

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