Dogs may be man’s best friend, but according to the CDC over 4.5 million people are the victims of a dog bite every year. In 2009, 885,000 victims had injuries serious enough that they needed medical attention and 35,000 of those required surgery by a plastic surgeon.

This was once again the case when authorities say a 9-year-old girl from McCormick County, South Carolina (SC) was killed by a dog her grandfather bought. First I want to express my condolences to the family of this young girl.  It is more than tragic when a child dies, it is catastrophic. 

McCormick County Coroner Faye Puckett said the little girl was attacked about 6:30 p.m. Saturday while visiting her grandfather’s home.  Police say the 98-pound Japanese Akita bit the girl in the neck and she died at a hospital shortly afterward.  The coroner says the girl was outside alone with the dog when it attacked.

There is no word yet if anyone has been charged in connection with this innocent girl’s death. Although the grandfather might have had good intentions, someone needs to speak for the victims in cases like this and I know her parent’s must be sick with grief.  It seems negligent to leave a small child outside alone with a 100 pound dog that was new to the family. 

Akita’s also have been known to be very aggressive.  A study done in 1997 on dog bite fatalities between 1979 and 1996 revealed that the following breeds killed one or more people: pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Doberman pinschers, chows, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Akitas

In a dog bite case, it can be important to find out if the previous owners knew about the dog’s dangerous propensities.