May 17-23 Is National Dog Bite Prevention Week

The third week of May is National Dog Bite Prevention Week focusing on educating the public on the prevention of dog bites. WRCR spoke with the Rockland Department of Health’s Rabies Coordinator Rick Price who stated that the most prevalent time of year for dog bites is May through September. Last year, of the 244 reported bites, 95% of them were from dogs that the victim knew. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s website claims 5,000,000 people were bitten last year and that a yearly average of 800,000 require medical treatment. Children are the most common victims and the most likely to be severely injured. Dr. Ilana Reisner, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and owner of Reisner Veterinary Behavior and Consulting Services in Media, Pennsylvania explained that the reason most dogs bite is over fear, from food related aggression or possessive resource guarding. Her advise to parents and children to prevent future bites is to let sleeping dogs lie as some do not respond well to being disturbed from a vulnerable position. Also, do not take toys or objects from dogs and to leave them alone as they eat. Though you might view your actions as playful, there is no way of knowing how a dog will react in a particular situation. Dogs, like humans will be more irritable when sick or not feeling bad. Contrary to popular belief, there is no one dog breed that is more prone to biting than another. Pet owners are advised to use gentle handling and training techniques from a young age and to exercise their best judgement to care for their own pets. Price stated that one should report bites to the police as soon as they occur which will then be reported to the Department of Health which will assess the situation and administer the four-day rabies prophylaxis treatment as needed. For more information on dog bite prevention or victim support, visit Doggonesafe.com, a charitable organization dedicated to prevention and safety of which WRCR’s own Kerry Potter is the Vice-President.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

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