Interesting Article On Dog Bites In Massachusetts

Here is an excerpt of an article provided by MetroWest Daily News on dog bites in WMassachusetts:

When people buy dogs, they need to understand what they’re getting into, experts on canine behavior say. The animals come equipped with a bark, they need attention and care — and sometimes they bite.  Other cities and towns that topped the list include Newton with 58 bites, Shrewsbury with 37, and Natick with 35. Milford rounds out the top five with 29 dog bites.

Although animal control officers yesterday said any breed will bite if not cared for properly, there are some that stand out in the public’s mind as consistently dangerous.  Framingham Police Deputy Chief Steven Trask organizes dangerousness or viciousness hearings for dogs, and "the majority of those hearings are for pit bulls," he said.  "Some owners, not all, but some owners, buy pit bulls for the sole purpose of a status symbol or a symbol of strength," Trask said. "Some of those owners do teach that pit bull to be aggressive.

"You can do that with most dogs, (but) the majority of the attacks or viciousness hearings are pit bulls or some type of pit bull mix."  Franklin Animal Control Officer Cindy Souza, however, said she has seen cases involving just about every breed of dog out there.  While the 2004 statistics say 25 bites occurred in Franklin, the next year, bites increased by more than 30 percent to 33. Already this year, Souza said, she has responded to 18 bites.

Like most MetroWest communities, Waltham has a leash law, which requires dog owners to keep dogs on a leash at all times. That law, Campobasso believes, helped to dramatically cut down on dog bites.