Dogs are the most common and beloved pets in American households. Unfortunately, not all dogs are cute, cuddly and obedient. Even the ones that are have shown the potential to turn against their owners and small children in the blink of an eye. While not all dogs are dangerous or have ever shown violence toward owners or strangers, North Carolina has repeat offenders.

In fact, The News & Observer reports that North Carolina ranks at number 14 for dog attacks among other states. In 2015 alone, the dog attacks in the state led to payouts of nearly $1 million related to 56 dog bite claims. By 2016, that number climbed to $1.89 million. This time, there were 77 dog bite claims.

Who the victims are

Dogs primarily attack children. In fact, children account for more than 50% of the victims who suffer from dog attacks across the country each year. Both children and the elderly are among the most at-risk groups when bitten by dogs because their immune systems are more easily compromised and they might not have the strength and agility to run quickly or defend themselves.

Why dogs bite

There is a saying that dogs behave badly because they have bad owners and there is some truth to this. Some owners specifically train dogs to become aggressive and specific breeds of dogs tend to become favorites among this group.

Dogs can also bite because of fear or anger. If a dog believes he might face harm, he might strike first. Similarly, a dog might lash out to protect his territory. Finally, some dogs herd animals on farms and these breeds often attempt to herd children when owners fail to keep them occupied.

WCNC News adds that not only have dog attacks become a big problem in the Greater Charlotte area, but there are actually 200 repeat offenders that police officers keep an eye on. These dogs can only remain alive when owners follow strict guidelines to keep the public and guests safe from the dogs. However, as the article explains, many people do not follow these guidelines.