Bites & Bite Prevention
All bites that occur within the County need to be reported to Animal Control or Environmental Health.
Wild animal bites or scratches occur most often through chance encounters that are unavoidable. Any time an animal such as a bat, fox, raccoon, or other wild animal bites, the animal needs to be kept, if possible, for pick up and testing.
Domestic animal bites or scratches need to be reported as soon as possible. Those animals will be quarantined for 10 days with their health monitored after that time. Rabies vaccinations will be checked and every precaution will be taken to assure the victim's health pertaining to Rabies.
Don't Worry, They Won't Bite
While that's true for the vast majority of dogs, even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pup can bite if provoked. Unwisely, some owners actually promote aggression in their dogs as symbols of power. From nips to bites to actual attacks, dog bites are a serious problem. Dog bite victims requiring medical attention in the United States number 500,000 to 1 million annually.
Countless more bites go unreported and untreated. On average, about a dozen people die each year from dog bites. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to address this problem.
Who's Being Bitten
Children make up more than 60% of all dog bite victims. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates half of all children 12 and younger have been bitten by a dog. The elderly and home service people - like mail carriers and meter readers -also are high on the list of frequent dog bite victims.
- Carefully consider your pet selection. Before and after selection, your veterinarian is the best source for information about behavior and suitability.
- Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy, so it feels at ease around people and other animals. Expose your puppy to a variety of situations a little at a time and under controlled circumstances; continue that exposure on a regular basis as your dog gets older. If you're not sure how your dog will react to a large crowd or a busy street, be cautious. Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
- Train your dog. The basic commands "sit," "stay," "no" and "come" can be incorporated into fun activities, which build a bond of obedience and trust between pets and people. Don't play aggressive games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog
- Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control is important to how your dog feels and behaves.
- Neuter your pet. It's a fact: Neutered dogs are less likely to bite. Be a responsible pet owner. License your dog with the community as required. Obey leash laws. Dogs are social animals; spending time with your pet is important. Dogs that are frequently left alone have a greater chance of developing behavior problems.
- Be alert. Know your dog. You naturally would be alert to signs of illness, but you must also watch for signs your dog is uncomfortable or feeling aggressive.