Texas ranks 5th in dog-related insurance claims, not all claims - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Texas ranks 5th in dog-related insurance claims, not all claims based on bites

A dog barks from its cage at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare; Source: KFDA A dog barks from its cage at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare; Source: KFDA
a dog standing inside it's cage at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare; Source: KFDA a dog standing inside it's cage at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare; Source: KFDA
A dog sitting at home; Source: KFDA A dog sitting at home; Source: KFDA
A dog barks from inside it's care at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare; Source: KFDA A dog barks from inside it's care at Amarillo Animal Management & Welfare; Source: KFDA
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

New data shows Texas ranks high when it comes to dog-related insurance claims.

When a dog causes an injury, whether bite or scratch, it can cost the owner money.

Statistics show there are 90 million dogs in households across the U.S..

Local insurance agent Jason Chafe says that can lead to a lot of injuries.

 "It's not always the dog bite that's the claim," said Chafe. "It's just maybe a dog running after a child or running after someone wanting to play, and someone falls and gets hurt."

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Over the last 10 years, more than $1 billion has been paid in dog bite liability claims.

Chafe has heard that some dogs are perceived to be prone to biting, but he has seen that is not the case.

He has had claims from all types of dogs. 

"There's some breeds that you'd think naturally there are the type of dog that can bite," said Chafe. "But, I think we got to talk about any dog can bite."

Director of Animal Management & Welfare Richard Haven feels the same way.

"Any animal that has teeth can bite," said Haven.

Haven explains if a dog causes injury it is automatically held for 10 days and observed.

"We are not advocates of putting bite animals back out into the community," said Haven. "We do understand though some bites are accidental and we do look at all bites for the totality of what occurred."

So far this year, there has been 134 dog bites in Amarillo.

Haven found where a dog bites says a lot about its personality.

"Bites to the groin, to the face tend to be of a dominant aggressive type dog," said Haven. "Bites to the lower ankles, to the lower calves, to the lower buttocks, those tend to be the herding type dogs. And then bites to the hands and arms tend to be you just found yourself in a rather unfortunate situation."

Chafe recommends preventive measures to take.

"Having a leash, having your dog in a backyard, not having those situations where a leash could break," said Chafe.

Always remember to be cautious when approaching a dog, and if you are bitten, make sure you report the incident to either insurance or the proper officials.

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