Date of Award

Fall 11-20-2009

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Monica Swahn - Chair

Second Advisor

Frances McCarty


The CDC estimates that 4.7 million Americans get bitten by dogs every year. Most of these dog bite injuries involve a family-owned pet and a household member or person familiar to the dog. This capstone examines six topics: dog bite injuries and its impact on communities; new strategies for dog bite injury prevention; incidence of dog bite injuries requiring emergency room treatment among children from 2001 to 2008; dog bite injury healthcare costs; implementation of dog bite injury prevention; and legal issues and outcomes in dog bite injury. A novel approach to dog bite injury research should include a socio-ecological perspective that captures complex risk factors surrounding behavior and sociological background of dog owners before, during, and after dog bite injury incidence that is collected in a national integrated data system and translates prevention science effectively according to the CDC Injury Research Agenda.