Our pet sitters know a lot about dogs, cats, and the myriad of endearing little animals we care for throughout Miami, but we constantly seek additional education in our field. Pet sitters Flavia Berti and Tom Wyss attended the Dog Bite Investigation Seminar sponsored by No Kill Nation, Inc. and the Miami Coalition Against Breed-Speicific Legislation on April 25, 2013.
They heard from expert Jim Crosby, a retired lieutenant and dog trainer who spoke to police about what they do and how they assess certain situations when there are dogs involved in crime scenes, in dog bites, or alleged dog attacks and fatalities. Flavia and Tom took away two main messages from Mr. Crosby: every dog can and will bite if in pain or provoked, and the importance of education and responsible pet ownership in preventing dog bites.
The Truth: Any dog can and will bite if in pain or moved into pain, according to Pet Tech and Mr. Crosby. We know this is difficult to accept; after all, your dogs are amazing beings who cuddle with you nightly and give you soul-nourishing love. But, dogs can bite as a reaction to something: maybe they become frightened, or startled, or feel threatened. They may bite to protect their food, toys, or puppies. As is often the case, they can even bite during play, which is unintentional but potentially very painful to their human playmates.
Here are a few compelling dog bite statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
- Each year, over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs.
- 1 in 5 people who are bitten require medical attention.
- Most of the dog bites affecting children occurs during normal, everyday activities with a familiar dog.
- Senior citizens are the second most common group of dog bite victims.
It is within the realm of possibility that your dog may bite someone someday. Fortunately, there are countless ways to prevent a tragedy from occurring, which we will be sharing in our next post. Have you had any experiences with dog bites? Success stories about preventing the preventable? Please share with us in the comments section below!