Restrain yourself, er, rather your pet!

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Press release from Animal Control:

City Urges Dog Owners to Restrain Dogs Properly – Avoid Legal Action

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control cautions pet owners to properly restrain dogs to prevent possible dog bite injuries and legal action. The shelter is currently working a number of cases where dogs escaped their yards and attacked causing harm. Some situations involved children being injured, while others involve bites to other animals and adults. Dog owners are given a summons to appear in court when the attack occurs off of the owner’s property.

“As schools close and more children are outdoors playing, we could see a dramatic increase in dog bite injuries. These attacks can be prevented by dog owners using good judgment and proper confinement,” says spokesperson Peggy Bender.

May 17-23 is National Dog Bite Prevention week and a good time to review dog bite prevention tips with family members. To avoid being bitten, educate yourself and your children to follow these safety tips:

  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog, particularly one that is confined or restrained.
  • Don’t pet an unfamiliar dog without permission. Let the dog see and sniff you first.
  • If you see a loose dog, report it to Animal Care & Control by calling 427-1244.
  • If approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless (be still like a tree) until the dog leaves the area. Do not scream or run from the dog.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog. Staring into a dog’s eyes is perceived by the dog as an act of aggression and dominance and may challenge the dog to attack.
  • If a dog should try to attack, “feed” the dog your jacket, purse, book bag, or anything that can come between you and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked down, curl into a ball and put your hands over your ears. Try not to scream or roll around.
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Never play rough or aggressive games, like tug-of-war, with your own dog.
  • Don’t allow children to play chase games with your own dog.
  • Teach children that dogs like gentle pets, but may feel threatened or pinned if hugged.

Follow These Tips If You Are Bitten

  • Children should tell an adult right away.
  • Wash the wound with soap and water and immediately consult a doctor. Serious bites can cause scarring, so ask for a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • Report animal bites to Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control or the County Animal Control Officer. Provide as much information about the dog as possible – what the dog looked like, where you saw the dog, and if you know where the dog lives. Animal Control will try to locate the dog as quickly as possible.

To Reduce The Chance of Your Dog Biting:

  • Have your dog spayed or neutered. Sterilization reduces aggression, and a dog’s tendency to roam. Sterilization will not reduce a dog’s protective nature.
  • Take your dog through obedience training classes so he will learn to be a trustworthy member of your family and community.
  • Avoid chaining your dog. Chaining increases aggression and isolates your dog from learning the normal sounds, smells, and behaviors of children and adults.

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