According to the American Pet Products Association, in 1994, Americans spent an estimated $17 billion to feed, groom, board and provide veterinary care for their pets. Today, that figure has nearly quadrupled to an estimated $60.59 billion. Based on these figures, there's no doubt that Americans love their pets and dogs definitely rank among the most beloved pets of all.
According to The Florida Bar Journal, there are an estimated 78.2 million dogs in the U.S., roughly 14 percent of which live in Florida. While dogs are commonly referred to as being man's best friend and loyal canine companions, dogs can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, according the Florida Health Department, annually dog bites send "more than 500 Florida residents" to the hospital. State records also indicate that an average of two Floridians die each year from injuries suffered from dog bites and attacks.
Dog bite injuries can be serious and even deadly. Much depends on the age and size of a dog bite victim and also the breed and size of the dog involved. National statistics show that roughly 61 percent of dog bite cases involving emergency medical care involve child victims. For a child who suffers a dog bite, both the physical and emotional wounds and scars are often painful and slow to heal.
Florida has what's known as a strict liability dog bite law. This means that a dog owner is considered responsible for the actions of a dog and must therefore compensate a dog bite victim for any costs incurred as a result of a dog bite or attack.