Dog Bites

Dog Bites

A Story by obxaco

Excerpt from my bi- weekly newspaper column




Within the last few weeks, there have been several incidents brought to our attention which we feel could possibly have been avoided or their impact lessened with a little more awareness. As long as we choose to live together with animals, accidents will happen from time to time. Dog bites are a fact of life. After all, dogs, if you think about it, were designed for one world and are living in another. Their ability to understand our world and communicate their needs, fears, and frustrations is quite limited. As caretakers, we need to try to anticipate the situations in which our animals may get in to trouble. For example, I know that my dog feels a need to challenge other large dogs. Knowing this about her, I have to limit her exposure to situations where she may meet other dogs that may be off leash. We need to know our pets particular quirks and adjust his or her routines accordingly. Our concern should be the safety of our pets, that of our neighbors and their pets, and, of course, our liability if something should go wrong.

Animal Control sees things go wrong often. People and pets are injured by other people's animals every day. Good, well meaning people get sued, good animals need to be quarantined or are given up to shelters only because someone wasn't paying attention. In North Carolina, every dog (or cat) that bites a person must be quarantined for a period of ten days -at the owner's expense. The Health Department may be petitioned to declare a dog "Potentially Dangerous" in certain circumstances for the safety of the community. If this should happen, they lose the privilege of letting their dog run loose or even being out in the yard unattended. This is usually due to an owner's reluctance to or inability to control their dog. So let's just try to be a little more conscious of Sparky's quirks and see trouble coming before he does - for his sake.


© 2008 obxaco

Author's Note

Excerpt from my long winded last column- in case you didn't get that far...

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What is ironic about dog bites is that when my children were young, from time to time, over the years one of them would get bitten by someone's dog ... not mauled ... but skin would be broken. Pediatricin advised to wash with soap and water and not worry because a dog's mouth is very clean. I was told this at the very least three times. Two of the times were for actual dog bites, but the third time was when my younger son got bit on the elbow by another kid during a little rumble. I had to bring him in to get tetnanus shot because (as I was told by the Pediatricin yet again ...) the human mouth is the dirtiest place in the world and it's not like a dog bite ... you have to treat a human bite but not a dog bite (unless it was a vicious attack or the dog acted in a manner that suggested rabies). One time the neighbor's cat started attacking one of the kids and actually jumped up and bit the kid as he tried to get away. Cat was put to sleep and its head cut off and sent to the state lab and the kid had to have a series of rabies shots before the verdict ever came through about the cat's health. Seems he had a brain tumor and not rabies. So, I found your advice interesting and a great topic for discussion.

Posted 12 Years Ago

Very good advice!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on March 15, 2008