State Farm Reports Illinois #2 for Dog Bites in U.S.

WTVO/WQRF -- It appears some dogs in Illinois are both bark AND bite.  However, according to Bloomington based State Farm, Illinois had the second most dog bite claims by the insurer last year.  State Farm handled 309 claims in 2013 and paid out $8.9 million,  That comes to nearly $30,000 per claim.

The cost breakdown was in total numbers and not 'per capita,' so larger states like Illinois rose to the top.  California was #1 in payouts, Ohio was third, followed by Texas and Pennsylvania.

However, the problem is considerable enough statewide for the insurer to promote 'National Dog Bite Prevention Week' May 18-24 as a way to educate dog owners about the dangers of dog bites.

Education about responsible pet ownership and how to interact properly with any dog is critically important when it comes to reducing dog bite incidents. According to Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and star of Animal Planet's 'It's Me of the Dog,' "the most effective way to prevent dog bites is not to ban certain breeds of dog, but to raise awareness of canine behavior through education, as well as encouraging responsible dog ownership."

For more information and safety tips including how to keep children safe around dogs, go to:

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