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Dog Bites Sending People To California Hospitals In Growing Numbers

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A growing number of people in California are being sent to the hospital for dog bites.

Dog owners were surprised to learn that serious dog bites, requiring an emergency room visit are up 44-percent in California over the last ten years.

"I think when a dog bite happens, it's largely the owners fault," dog owner Elisa Alvarado said.

Newly released numbers from the California's office of statewide health planning and development show the dramatic increases in dog bites between 2005 and 2015 for adults, not including children.

Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, as well as the state of California showed increases.

News cameras captured two pit bulls that got loose in Stockton and went on the attack earlier this year, sending one man to the hospital with dog bites.

An officer had to shoot and kill one of the dogs to stop it.

Elisa Marina Alvarado says it's a matter of training - not the breed.

She's dog-watching a family member's pit bull in San Jose.

"I would imagine people are using them as guard dogs, so not really training them how to behave with other dogs, how to behave with people," Alvarado said.

The data also showed that rural counties have the highest number of dog bites per capital than urban counties.

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