A teenager recently suffered a dog bite in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In mid-August, an 18-year-old was out for a walk around the intersection of E. Eldorado Street and N. Union Street in Appleton, Wisconsin. On his walk, he encountered a Rottweiler – the dog was not wearing a leash.

As the teenager bent down to give the dog a pat, the dog bit the man on his head. The wound was serious enough that it required stitches. Although the dog’s owner purportedly spoke to the injured teen after the incident, the man did not provide identification to the teen.

Currently, law enforcement officers are on the search for the dog and the dog’s owner.

Dog bites are a serious concern across the country

Unfortunately, man’s best friend will sometimes lash out and bite unsuspecting people, as the 18-year-old Appleton man discovered. Each year, about 4.5 million people suffer dog bites in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those who suffer from a dog bite, about 20 percent require some type of medical intervention following the injury, such as the stitches required by the Wisconsin teen.

In the worst cases, serious medical care may be required. For instance, over 27,000 Americans needed reconstructive surgery after suffering a dog bite in 2012, according to the CDC.

Among those most at risk of suffering a dog bite are children and men. Often, children do not understand that approaching an unfamiliar animal could have harmful results. Children between 5 and 9 years of age are the most susceptible to dog bites and are also more likely to require medical intervention following the bite.

While the dog owner is ultimately responsible for his or her pet, people can take some precautions to avoid a serious dog bite, particularly parents of young children.

As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to teach children not to approach dogs or other animals with which they are not familiar.

If an unfamiliar dog takes the initiative and approaches the child, he or she should be instructed to avoid eye contact with the animal and not move. If the dog becomes aggressive and knocks the child down, he or she should curl into a ball and stay still.

Finally, should a dog bite occur, children should understand that they must immediately inform an adult. The adult can then take action to obtain medical care for the child and contact information from the pet owner.

Pet owners can be held responsible when their dog bites another individual. If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog bite, take the time to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer, who will work with you to make certain you receive the damages to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: dog bite, Appleton, Wisconsin