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Protect Yourself from Dog Bites

By Tracey Leong, tleong@krcrtv.com
Published On: May 21 2013 03:01:44 AM CDT
Protect Yourself from Dog Bites

National Dog Bite Prevention Week runs May 19th to the 25th and is aimed at educating the community on keeping people and their dogs safe.

Every year more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs.  Plus, California tops the list with the most dog bite claims.  In the Northstate there were more than 900 reported in 2012.  We visited Haven Humane Society in Redding and Anderson Veterinary Clinic in Anderson to get the facts on protecting yourself from dog bites.

“It’s important that people know when they are around a dog that they know how to behave,” says Haven Humane CEO Mark Storrey.

Storrey says people need to always approach strays or other people’s dogs with caution.  He says don’t make sudden movements and always ask for an owner’s permission.

“It is also horrible for the dog, especially if it’s a bite that could have easily been prevented,” says Storrey.

A majority of dogs who bite people need to be quarantined.  In some scenarios, the dogs can be euthanized.  Storrey says if a dog is displaying aggression or fear it is best to back away and leave the dog alone.  Also, when the dog is not provoked it will most likely leave you alone.  According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of dog bite victims are children and 30% are from a dog they know.

Dr. Chavon Pryor works at Anderson Veterinary Clinic in Anderson and knows firsthand how scary a dog bite can be.   

“My uncle’s dog bit me in the throat and I had to get stitches.  The dog got put to sleep and it was really sad.  I was only two, I didn’t know I couldn’t touch the dog,” says Dr. Pryor.

Dr. Pryor says it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure the dog is properly trained and socialized.  She says dog owners need to make sure to keep their pets and the people they come in contact with safe.  Dog bites are traumatic for everyone, including the dog owner, the victim and the dog

For more information on dog bite prevention visit: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/biteprevention.html