May 23, 2013
LAWT Wire Service
“Ranking first in dog bites is a title that no community strives to attain,” according to representatives of the American Veterinary Medical Association. To help reduce the number of dog bites across America, they said, the AVMA is offering Californians concrete ways to help reduce the number of dog bites in their community during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
As a partner in National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the United States Postal Service released its 2012 U.S. Postal Service Dog Attack City Rankings. Los Angeles ranked as No. 1, San Francisco ranked as No. 4, and Sacramento tied for the rank of No. 8 for attacks of postal workers. According to State Farm Insurance, California ranks No. 1 on the list of states with the most dog-bite related insurance claims.
“Dogs are wonderful, intelligent and loyal creatures, but they depend on responsible owners to teach them how to behave around people,” said Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA. “Understanding how dogs behave and how to behave around dogs could save countless people from the serious physical and emotional consequences of a dog bite. The AVMA has a multitude of educational resources and experts available to help individuals and community groups understand how they can help prevent dog bites.”
The AVMA offers information on preventing dog bites on its website, including brochures, a video, The Blue Dog Parent Guide and CD, podcasts and many other materials to teach people of all ages how to prevent dog bites.
Here are some simple tips from the AVMA that could help prevent a dog bite:
· Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
· Never disturb a dog that is caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
· If a dog approaches to sniff you, stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
· If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream or yell. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
· If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.