National Dog Bite Prevention Week is observed every year in the second week of April. This year it was observed from April 12 to 18, the main aim of the dog bite prevention week is to educate people on how to prevent dog bites. Both the veterinary and insurance industries come together to educate and promote responsible pet ownership. This year with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our lives and our pet animals, the information was tailored to provide inputs on how to take care of the dogs during this stay at home and social distancing period during the pandemic.
The National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition has warned that during this time of pandemic the number of dog bite cases will increase, if people will fail to recognize the signs of distress or are unable to provide the dogs with a safe place to stay and move around. A special webinar covering the topic “Sheltering safely with pets at home,” was hosted by the coalition to educate people on how to handle the situation of their pets in these dire times of the Covid19 pandemic.
The American Humane and various pet shelters and rescuers across the country have been encouraging people to come ahead and foster or adopt a pet during the ongoing pandemic. Dr. Lesa Stabus from American Humane stated that “We can save lives of shelter animals, find a ‘pandemic pet’ to help us through this period of loneliness and isolation, and do it safely.” Since there is a high risk involved in handling dogs, babies, and children they have created a free online booklet called Pet Meets Baby which will provide the families useful information on how they can introduce a child to a new dog or vice versa.
Listed below are some tips which can be useful if you are sheltering a pet at home during the covid19 pandemic:
- Designate a den-like space in the house which is a “dog only” zone. It can be near the door which remains open or someplace where the dog can move around freely.
- Small children or babies should not be left unsupervised when he dog is around. Using baby gates can be really helpful to keep the dogs and kids separated.
- It is important that all the family members are educated about the key signs of a dog distress, signs like holding the ears back or tucking the tail or shaking or trembling or baring teeth with mouth wide open.
- While offering meals to the dog, keep them in a safe space where the dog will not feel threatened by the presence of either humans or other animals.
- It is a good time to teach your pet new skills. Teach your dog new signs and cues; take the help of a trainer if you are not able to do so. Many trainers are now offering online consultations.
- While taking the dog out for a walk, ensure that it is on a leash. Restrict your dog from socially interacting with other dogs or people. As we humans observe social distancing norms, we need to ensure our dogs are also following the same.
- Keep a backup plan ready. In an eventuality of you becoming sick or getting hospitalized, it is important that you have planned on a place to keep your pet or who will take care in your absence.
Dog Bite Statistics
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has stated that around 77 million dogs are kept as pets in U.S. homes. Every year approximately 4.5 million people are victims of dog bites or dog attacks. 56% of the dog bite victims are children. The top 5 states with the highest number of dog bite cases are California, Florida, Texas, New York and Illinois.
What to do in case of a Dog Bite Attack?
- If you have been bitten by a dog and the dog’s owner is present, collect a proof of rabies vaccination from them and take their contact details.
- Thoroughly clean the bite wound with soap and water
- Visit a doctor or go to the emergency room
- Get in touch with the dog’s vet to check on the vaccination records.
If your dog has bitten someone, it is your responsibility to help the victim and remove the dog from the place
- First you need to restrain and control your dog immediately.
- Move away your dog from the scene of the attack
- Keep the dog confined in a safe place.
- Check with the victim and see how are they doing
- Help them wash the wounds with soap and water.
- Call 9-1-1 if a paramedic is required.
- Provide all the important information about the dog and its vaccination records to the victim.
- Complete all the formalities required for reporting a dog bite incident
- Have a word with your veterinarian and take their advice on how to prevent similar incidents in the future.
DOG BITE CASES
Dog bite cases are more than being scarred and injured. The emotional trauma and stress experienced by the victim can last for a lifetime. We at Khashan Law have a special team of Dog bite lawyers who specifically handle cases related to dog bites and attacks. They have the required knowledge and experience for representing the clients and help them receive their rightful compensation for the damages they suffered. Visit us at www.dogbitemasters.com for more information.