Reports of dog bites rise in Knox County

Reports of dog bites rise in Knox County

Posted:
The number of reported dog bites this year has almost tripled The number of reported dog bites this year has almost tripled
Every day Wayne Cruise walks a couple miles in his neighborhood in Karns. He says it's a popular walking area, but sometimes he's approached by dogs. Every day Wayne Cruise walks a couple miles in his neighborhood in Karns. He says it's a popular walking area, but sometimes he's approached by dogs.
"Any dog with teeth can bite. It's not just one particular type of dog such as a pit bull, so I think it does go back to owner responsibility," said Cpl Frankie Byrne with Knox County Animal Control. "Any dog with teeth can bite. It's not just one particular type of dog such as a pit bull, so I think it does go back to owner responsibility," said Cpl Frankie Byrne with Knox County Animal Control.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KARNS (WATE) - Knox County residents say they are worried about dangerous dogs in their neighborhood.

According to Knox County Animal Control, at this time last year 85 dog bites had been reported in the county. Already this year that number has almost tripled, with 225 dog bites reported.

Officers say the increase is not necessarily because more dogs are biting, but because more people are outdoors. People are also buying dogs they don't know how to handle.

Every day Wayne Cruise walks a couple miles in his neighborhood in Karns. He says it's a popular walking area, but sometimes he's approached by dogs.

"It came up and as I say I stood my ground as they say to do and it didn't threaten me or anything," said Cruise.

One resident wasn't so lucky on Monday.

According to a Knox County Sheriff incident report, a woman was walking her dog when a lab mix ran into the road and bit her arm.

Cpl. Frankie Byrne with the Knox County Animal Control wishes someone would have called earlier, possibly preventing the incident.

"The neighbor had stated that the dog had been roaming around loose and getting loose off its property for about a year, which we really need people to call us and let us know," said Cpl. Byrne.

According to Cpl. Byrne, about a week prior in the same area a pit bull attacked a horse, injuring the horse's leg and chest.

But though pit bulls are sometimes regarded as more aggressive than other breeds, the numbers show that many different breeds have been reported for biting.

"Any dog with teeth can bite. It's not just one particular type of dog such as a pit bull, so I think it does go back to owner responsibility," said Byrne.

Knox County Animal Control is developing a website with a dangerous dog registry where residents can type in their home address and see if there are any dangerous dogs in their neighborhood.

Officers say the site should be up at the beginning of next year.

Increased awareness is also adding to the number of bites reported.

"The citizens are more aware that we will come out and respond and that we do have things that we can do to the owners of the offending dogs to put them under restrictions," said Cpl Byrne.

Another reason for the increased amount of dog bites - Knox County Animal Control says the warmer weather this fall has caused more people to be outside around the loose dogs.

For Cruise, he says he wife carries a stick while walking to keep the dogs away and he thinks he'll also start to take precautions.

"I'll just get me a can of mace or those things the mail carriers use here and spray and that should do the trick," said Cruise.

Animal control also recommends carrying an umbrella while out on a walk. Just the act of opening it could scare the dog, so you can fend the animal off until you can get to safety.

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