No-Kill Animal Shelter Offers Safety Tips During National Dog Bite Prevention Week
May 16, 2011 · Published By Editor
Children are most at risk of being bitten Dog-bite Prevention Guide for Parents Available from Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA
Phoenix, AZ — Dogs can be a wonderful part of our lives, but sometimes they bite. Approximately 5,800 dog bites were reported in Maricopa County last year. Children are most often the victims, with nearly half of all children in the United States bitten by their 12th birthdays. Although boys in this age group have higher rates than girls the same age, all children should be taught how to interact with dogs and reduce their chances of being bitten.
May 15 through 21 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and the Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) offers 10 tips on preventing dog bites:
- Supervise children at all times when interacting with a dog, even the family pet.
- Don’t allow children to approach or hug any dog that does not belong to them, unless they ask the dog’s guardian for permission. If a child has permission to pet someone else’s dog, he or she should approach slowly and quietly, letting the dog sniff first, then pet the dog under the chin.
- Never surprise a dog that is eating or sleeping. Animals can bite when they are frightened or startled.
- Never take a toy away from a dog.
- Never approach a dog that is in a car, as dogs will often protect their space.
- Never approach or reach for a dog that is behind a fence. Most dogs naturally protect their homes.
- Teach children to stand still like a tree if an unfamiliar dog approaches and they are frightened. The child should stand very still, with arms at his or her sides, be very quiet, and not look the dog in the eye.
- If a child is knocked down by a threatening dog, teach him or her to be a turtle! This means curling up in a ball on one’s side, with fists over the ears. The child should stay very still and quiet until the dog goes away.
- NEVER try to outrun a dog. Instead, back away slowly.
- If you have a dog, train it to enjoy the presence of children using positive methods, and never allow rough play or chasing games between children and dogs.
AAWL & SPCA encourages responsible dog ownership, including training, socializing, and neutering family pets to prevent dog bites. In addition to operating the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter, the organization offers training, such as basic dog obedience, and socialization classes for pet owners, as well as other affordable training sessions. Kids’ camps, such as Camp Ruffin’ It, and classes teach children how to safely interact with animals. For more information on education programs, call 602-273-6852, ext. 122.
For help with specific pet behavior issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pubished on behalf of Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA
The mission of the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA is to end the unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats in our community. Founded in 1971, AAWL & SPCA operates the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. The non-profit organization also provides adoption, resource and education programs that improve the quality of life for dogs and cats and offer support for pet guardians. AAWL & SPCA found homes for nearly 2,700 dogs and cats last year. No federal or state funding is received and all revenue is from private donations and fundraising efforts. To find out more, go to www.AAWL.org or call 602-273-6852.