Nationwide last year, 5,577 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities. Los Angeles topped the list with 83 postal employees attacked in 2011. Beyond the needless pain and suffering, medical expenses from dog attacks cost the Postal Service nearly $1.2 million last year.
- “Children are three times more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog,” said PTB President Kathy Voigt, whose daughter Kelly, was mauled by a neighborhood dog. “Education is essential to keeping children safe from dog bites.” The attack prompted their creation of Prevent The Bite, a non-profit organization that promotes dog bite prevention to young children.
- AAP President Dr. Robert Block added, “Parents, please don’t ever leave a young child unsupervised around any dog, even a dog well-known to your family. Even very young children should be taught not to tease or hurt animals. And with school almost over for the year, children will be spending more time in parks, at friends’ homes, and other places where they may encounter dogs. They need to know what to do to minimize the risk of being bitten.”
- According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2011 alone more than 29,000 reconstructive procedures were performed as a result of injuries caused by dog bites. Dr. Michael Neumeister, ASRM president said, “Even the friendliest dog may bite when startled or surprised. Be cautious, once a child is scarred they are scarred for life. We hear this line all the time ‘The dog has never bitten anyone before.’ A dog’s reaction to being surprised or angered is not predictable.”
- “Any dog can bite,” said Dr. René Carlson, AVMA president. “If it is physically or mentally unhealthy, is in pain, feels threatened, or is protecting its food or a favorite toy, it can bite. It is important to understand how dogs behave and how our behavior may be interpreted by a dog.”
- “Dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid out in 2011,” said Dr. Robert Hartwig, III president and chief economist
The National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners offer the following tips:
· Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
· Don’t run by a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
· If you feel threatened by a dog, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
· Never approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
· Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
· Anyone wanting to pet a dog should first obtain permission from the owner.
· Always let a dog see and sniff you before petting the animal.
· If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
· If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.
Be a Responsible Dog Owner
· Obedience training can teach a dog to behave properly and help owners control their dogs.
· When letter carriers and others who are not familiar with your dog come to your home, keep your dog inside, in another room away from the door.
· In protecting their territory, dogs may interpret people’s actions as a threat.
· Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to roam.
· Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.
§ Rinse the bite area with soapy water.
§ Elevate limb(s) that have been bitten.
§ Apply antiseptic lotion or cream. Watch the area for signs of infection for several days after the incident.
§ For deeper bites or puncture wounds, apply pressure with a clean bandage or towel to stop the bleeding. Then wash the wound, dry it and cover with a sterile dressing. Don’t use tape or butterfly bandages to close the wound.
§ It’s a good idea to call your child’s physician because a bite could require antibiotics or a tetanus shot. The doctor also can help you to report the incident.
§ If your child is bitten severely, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.
§ When going to the emergency room, advise the personnel of:
– your tetanus vaccination status;
– vaccine status of the dog;
– who the dog owner is; and,
– if the dog has bitten before.
|1||Los Angeles, CA||83|
|2||San Diego, CA||68|
|6||San Antonio, TX||39|
|8||Denver, CO , and Sacramento , CA||35 each|
|9||Minneapolis, MN , and St. Louis , MO||32 each|
|11||Chicago, IL , and Philadelphia , PA||30 each|
|13||Brooklyn, NY , and Portland , OR||27 each|
|14||Baltimore, MD , and San Francisco , CA||26 each|
|15||Dayton, OH , and Detroit , MI||25 each|
|16||Cincinnati, OH ; Oakland and San Jose , CA||24 each|
|17||Ft. Worth, TX||23|
|18||Buffalo, NY and Miami , FL||22|
|20||El Paso, TX and Memphis , TN||20 each|
|21||Oklahoma City, OK||19|
|22||Kansas City, MO; Las Vegas, NV; Long Beach, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA; and Tacoma, WA||18 each|
|23||Jamaica, NY; Milwaukee , WI , and Washington , DC||17 each|
|24||Charlotte, NC , and Orlando , FL||16 each|
|25||Baton Rouge, LA , and Rochester , NY||15 each|