National Dog Bite Prevention Week

As designated by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the week of May 19th-May 25th marks National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

May 17, 2013 | 2 min reading time
Line of dogs

Dog bites remain a threat in our communities, to both people and companion animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are 4.5 million dog bites that take place in the United States every year. In 2012, 403 confirmed animal bites were reported to City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control, and there have been 103 confirmed animal bite cases in 2013.

Children are particularly vulnerable to dog bites. The AVMA states that children are the most common victims of dog bites, and they are also more likely to be severely injured from a dog bite. The AVMA adds that children are most often bit by dogs during everyday activities and, most importantly, children are most often bit by dogs that are familiar to them.

However, similar to the AVMA, Health Director Pamela Walker, who also oversees Animal Care and Control, suggests that most dog bites are preventable.

"St. Louis is a welcoming city for people and their companion animals, but it is important for pet owners to remain vigilant when it comes to the safety of others," says Walker. "Responsible pet ownership, including keeping your dog on a leash and not letting dogs roam at large, is key in preventing dog bites." Walker also emphasizes the importance of pet owners ensuring that all pets have rabies vaccinations, and that those vaccinations are up-to-date.

During National Dog Bite Prevention Week, City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control will be posting tips daily on their Facebook page. On Monday, May 20th, Animal Care and Control Officers will be available in the lobby at 1520 Market Street to distribute information about dog bite prevention, as well as answer any questions from citizens.

Citizens are also encouraged to report aggressive or dangerous animals in the community. Reports can be made to the Citizen's Service Bureau at 314-622-4800. If you or someone you know experiences a dog bite, seek any necessary medical attention and then report the bite to the Citizen's Service Bureau. Reports can also be made to the Citizen's Service Bureau on the web.

The AVMA has provided a brochure for Dog Bite Prevention. For more information and additional resources on dog bites and prevention, please visit the AVMA website.

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