National Dog Bite Prevention Week 
May 18th thru the 24th

This May 18th through 24th, the Regional Animal Shelter will recognize National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and focus on providing information to our community about how to avoid being bitten by a dog. Letter carriers with dogs attached to their ankles have been the subjects of jokes and cartoons for years. However, there is nothing funny about dog bite injuries to the more than 800,000 victims who are bitten each year, most of whom are children.

The Regional Animal Shelter agrees that in most cases, dog bites are not caused by “bad dogs” but by irresponsible dog owners. Dogs who have not been properly socialized to other persons, who are not supervised or safely confined, who are not sterilized, or who receive little attention and handling are those who often bite humans. Although particular breeds of dogs are often accused of being most likely to bite, other characteristics are better predictors of canine biting behavior. Dogs that have not been spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite. For this reason, the Regional Animal Shelter suggests the first step you take to prevent your dog from biting is to have him/her spayed or neutered. Proper socialization, supervision, humane training, and safe confinement are also important components of responsible pet ownership and bite prevention.

Most dog bite incidents can be prevented through public education and responsible pet ownership. National Dog Bite Prevention Week is an opportunity for animal care and control agencies, humane societies, post offices, public service agencies, veterinarians, dog trainers, educators, physicians, and many others to work together to address this significant and largely preventable public health problem.

Regional Animal Shelter will recognize National Dog Bite Prevention Week by posting a brochure on our web page, www.kingwilliamcounty.us/ras published by the American Veterinary Medical Association about Dog Bite Prevention.

It is also important that we teach everyone in our community, especially children, how to avoid being bitten by dogs. For more information about dog bite prevention education, contact the Regional Animal Shelter at 804-769-4983.