State Farm: Illinois Ranks #2 in Dog Bite Claims

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- It should be great weather to be outside, but sunny days come with a painful problem for some people and their dogs.

Nearly 5 million people are attacked by a dog each year nationwide and the stats are even worse for Illinois.

Suzanne Cipria keeps her kids close when they want to play outside. She says a neighborhood pit-bull attacked her family five different times in just a year.

“My puppy tried to get in between me and the dog to break it up but when it did, it attacked him. I screamed and I pulled the do off,” said Cipria.

Her family’s safety isn’t the only problem. Cipria says between her and her dog’s medical bills, these dog attacks are hitting her where it hurts the most.

“I’ve sustained nearly $2,000 in vet bills alone,” Cipria said.

Cipria’s not the only one. State Farm says it pays more claims for dog bites in Illinois than most any other state. Illinois ranks number two in the country. There were 337 claims filed last year, up from 2011.

As it warms up, dog bites seem to get worse. That’s why Noe Torres worries about his young kids playing outside.

“You always have to keep an eye on them, but if you’re going to have an animal like dogs, you really have to control them too, have the proper fences,” Torres says.

Winnebago County Animal Services quarantines a dog for 10 days after an attack, but for Cipria, that’s not enough. She wants animal services to enforce stricter rules on repeat offenders to keep her family better protected.

If you’re attacked by a dog, our gut reaction is to run away or scream. Winnebago County Animal Services says not to do that. They also say if you fall, curl into a ball with your ears covered and don’t move.

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