Harrison County

Dog bite data released by Gulfport police after pit bull attacks

Pit bulls and German shepherds are excluded from coverage under many homeowner insurance policies because of their propensity to bite. Gulfport police released a list of reported dog bits from May 2016 to May 2018, intending to emphasize the danger of dogs allowed to run at large.
Pit bulls and German shepherds are excluded from coverage under many homeowner insurance policies because of their propensity to bite. Gulfport police released a list of reported dog bits from May 2016 to May 2018, intending to emphasize the danger of dogs allowed to run at large. The Wausau Daily Herald File

In the wake of two reported attacks by pit bulls in the last week — one fatally killing a 75-year-old woman and another biting a 9-year-old girl — Gulfport police have released numbers of reported dog bites over the last two years.

The numbers include reported incidents of dogs biting people from May 2016 until May 2018.

In the past two years, Gulfport police say there have been 106 incidents of dogs "at large" biting people, compared to 13 of dogs that weren't "at large."

Pit bulls accounted for 63 of the total incidents, including 56 "at large" incidents. The next breed was the shepherd with all six incidents happening "at large."

Labradors accounted for five total incidents, followed by boxers with four and both Rottweiler and Chihuahua with three apiece.

Bulldogs and chows both had two reported incidents apiece.

"This list was created to emphasize the danger of dogs being allowed to run at large," Sgt. Clayton Fulks said in the release. "... Every dog owner should ensure that their animals are restrained and not allowed to freely roam. Not only is it a crime, it is extremely dangerous."

The list also included reported dog bites on other animals during the same two-year period. Pit bulls accounted for 40, with shepherd and Labradors totaling four apiece.

"These incidents could be drastically reduced or avoided if owners kept their dogs restrained," Fulks said.

To see the complete numbers, visit gulfportpolice.net.

Jaxon Ronsonet recounts the attack and getting used to an artificial limb.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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