What parents should tell their kids Teach your children the following basic rules of safety around dogs:
Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
Remember that not every dog that wags its tail is friendly.
Always ask the owner's permission before petting a dog.
Always approach dogs slowly and carefully.
When meeting a new dog, let it come to you and smell you first.
Know where the dogs in your neighborhood live.
Keep away from stray dogs.
Never run from a dog and scream.
Remain calm and motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog (e.g., "be still like a tree").
Always protect your face, neck and arms.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "be still like a log").
If you're attacked, give the dog a book or backpack to chew on. Cover your head and neck, and protect your face.
Never play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
Do not make loud noises around dogs.
Do not ever tease a dog.
Never reach through a fence to pet a dog.
Never put your hand between two dogs.
Never put your face close to a dog.
Never try to help a hurt dog; get an adult to help.
If you do not have permission, never enter a yard with a dog in it. Better yet, wait for the owner to enter the yard with you.
Never leave a baby or any child under 12 alone with a dog.
If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult
Safe K9ÔŅĹ Safe Kids
Dog Bites: "Dog attacks are the No. 1 public health problem of children, with more than half of children bitten by age 12" said Dr. John I. Freeman, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
"Dog bites are the number one health problem of children, outnumbering measles and mumps combined."
"The Centre of Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly two percent of the US population is bitten by a dog each year. This represents more than 4.7 Million people per year, 70% of whom are children. 10 to 20 People die every year as a result of dog bites in the United States. By far, most of the victims are children"
Fatalities due to dog bites: "During the past 20 years, at least 25 breeds of dogs have been involved in 230 human fatalities. "Pit-Bull" type dogs and Rottweilers were identified as being involved in 66 and 39 fatalities over that 20 year period; however, the remainder of fatalities were caused by other purebreds and crossbreeds" Dr. Gail Golab, Assistant Director of the AVMA. Education and Research Division.
"Since 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds have been responsible for fatal attack on people, including Dachshunds, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, a Yorkshire Terrier and a Labrador Retriever." United States Centre of Disease Control (CDC)
"Reported dog attacks have increased at a rate of two percent annually, according to the Insurance Information Institute and 37 percent from 1986 to 1994 (National Centre for Injury Prevention)"
Economic Impact: "Insurance Companies paid an estimated $250 Million in dog bite liability claims in 1996, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
"State Farm Fire and Casualty Company paid nearly $80 million in dog bite-related claims in 1997"
"Dog Attacks cost society $1 Billion annually" (AVMA)
Hospitalization: "As many as 1 million people annually require medical treatment for dog bites. Dog attacks send more than 334,000 people to the emergency room each year' (AVMA)
"Dog bites requiring medical attention in the Unites States number 500,000 to 1 Million. Countless more bites go unreported and untreated" (AVMA)
Humane Society D.C.: "Regardless of size or breed all dogs can bite if provoked" states Randall Lockwood, Vice-President of the humane Society states "it is not a Rottweiler or Pit Bull Problem, but a people problem in failing to train dogs correctly."
Innocent Dogs Exterminated: "Every year, 12 million dogs are destroyed due to behavioral problems. 95% of these dogs could have been saved if there was a solution." according to Dr. Karen Overal, Director of the Behavioral Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (in 20/20 TV Interview). -----There is a solution! -- C.W.M.
Euthanizing: The cost to destroy "Man's Best Friend" is $98 for each dog. That includes the required 6-8 day boarding and the disposal of the body... Sonoma County Animal Control California Feb. 2000
Money Wasted To Wasted Life: National To exterminate the 11,400,000 dogs that could have been saved (see Dr. Karen Overal) Costs $1,117,200,000 which increases each year.
California one State of Fifty
City of Los Angeles: "Between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000... the city took in 71,000 dogs and euthanized 51,000 of them. The City of Los Angeles has 6 shelters with a total of 386 kennels across the city" General Manager, Dan Knapp.
California County of Los Angeles: "The county impounded 59,642 dogs between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000, of that number 41,592 dogs were euthanized. The county has 144 dog kennel" Spokesman, Bob Ballenger
Costs to Euthanize: City of Los Angeles 51,000 dogs = $4,998,000 County of Los Angeles 41,592 dogs = $4,076,016 Total $9,074,016
"Let's show the world why Pit Bull dogs are so deserving of our love"
Responsible Pit Bull ownership:
1. Never allow your Pit Bull to roam free. Dogs are just like human children. When not supervised, the decisions they make are often not for their best interest. When a Golden Retriever runs up to a person, they say, How sweet! When a Pit Bull does the exact same thing, people say, "Vicious dog"! The public doesn't wait before calling animal control or even the cops when they see a Pit Bull on the loose. Due to their bad reputation, these dogs are frequently killed by police officers. This is an unfortunate truth. Let's not make the reputation of the Pit Bull worse than it already is. For the safety of your dog and the general dog population, keep your Pit Bull behind a fence!
2. Always keep your Pit Bull on leash. Even if you believe you have full control of your dog and a good recall, you can't predict his/her reaction if a cat or a squirrel runs in front of him. Keep in mind that those dogs are "Terriers". A high prey drive and urge to chase other animals is an inherent trait of the breed.
3. Never take your Pit Bull to a dog park. Even if you think your Pit Bull is wonderful with other dogs, all it takes is once. If a Labrador starts a fight and your Pit Bull finishes it, whom will everyone blame? Let's face it; the Pit Bull is always at fault in the eyes of the public.
4. Take your Pit Bull to obedience classes. Yet again, in the eyes of the general public Pit Bulls are menacing creatures. The more socially acceptable they are by having impeccable manners, the better the reputation they will have. And remember, once is NOT enough. Ongoing obedience classes are best.
5. Socialize your Pit Bull as much as possible before and after they reach maturity. A shy Pit Bull is a pathetic creature indeed. Not only is being shy an abnormal Pit Bull trait, it also could be dangerous. You want your dog to be able to handle new situations with confidence and pleasure. As with obedience classes, once is not enough! Ongoing socialization will ensure your dog's happiness by showing him the world is a wonderful place. And please remember, socialization does not mean your dog running around with other dogs off leash!
6. Be a responsible parent! Do not allow your Pit Bull to be subjected to people who are belligerent or cruel. By forcing your dog to say hi to these types of people, you are being an irresponsible parent! You would never expect your human child to simply take whatever you dish out and like it. Please do not expect this from your dog.
7. Know where your dog is at all times. Don't leave your Pit Bull outside unattended. Who knows what is going on in the back yard while you are away. Are children teasing your dog? Is your dog learning to be aggressive by having to defend himself in these situations? Don't leave the parenting up to others. Responsibility is the key to proper and safe Pit Bull ownership.
8. Pit Bulls need a job. Whether this job is obedience classes, taking a walk with you everyday, sitting at your feet while you are on the computer in the evenings, or something more intense such as search and rescue, a Pit Bull needs to feel important and needed. They are highly intelligent animals with fine tuned problem solving skills. They need an outlet for this energy.
9. Daily exercise is a must! Playing fetch, hiking or whatever you love to do, your Pit Bull will be more than willing to participate.
10. Spay and neuter your Pit Bull. Altered pets live longer, "happier" and healthier life. They are also more stable and easier to raise when not triggered by their sexual hormones. To date, no fatal dog attack by an altered dog was ever reported.
11. Understand that Pit Bulls may be dog-aggressive. The breed was initially created and developed for the sport of dog-fighting. As a result, Pit Bulls have an important predisposition for dog-aggression. Take precautions and use common sense. Don't allow your Pit Bull to run up to unknown dogs and never allow unknown dogs to run up to your Pit Bull. Remember, you are the leader! Pit Bull owners should not expect their dog to be friends with unfamiliar dogs. Some Pit Bulls cannot be around any other dogs at all. With Pit Bulls you cannot train out the desire to fight another dog anymore than you can train out the desire to chase running rabbits in the Greyhound. You can curb this behavior and often control it, but not stop it altogether. As long as you understand this and can love your dog for who and what he is, you've got it made!
12. Never leave Pit Bulls alone and unsupervised with other animals. Even though you think they are the best of friends, it Ôs better to be safe than sorry! All it takes is one time for a fight to break out. This is especially true with multiple Pit Bulls in one household. Don't take any chances and remember this saying.. Never trust your Pit Bull not to fight another dog ever!
13. Keep your Pit Bull in an enclosure that is escape proof. Pit Bull proof your fence. Those dogs are very strong and resourceful. Pit Bulls should be kept in the house in crates when home alone. This is the utmost in safety. Just make sure your dog cannot get out to roam. If your dog makes a mistake, all Pit Bull owners pay for it!
THE FACTS 1) The incidents of injuries from dog bites is SMALL in relation to other risks for injury, including falls, motor vehicles, drug reactions, sports, spider bites, bicycles, medical complications, intentional injuries, poisonings, and knife injuries Ė DOG BITES RANK BELOW ALL OF THESE CATEGORIES.
2) Within this small risk group, unfortunately a disproportionate number of children are bitten and most of those dog bites are by the family dog or by a dog familiar to the family Ė HB400 DOES NOT ADDRESS THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT PRESENT THE GREATEST RISK TO CHILDREN.
3) 139 MILLION AUTOS Ė 42,000 fatalities; 103 MILLION BICYCLES Ė 700 fatalities; 63 MILLION DOGS Ė 12 fatalities; 65 MILLION CHILDREN Ė 1300 child abuse fatalities, 800 pedestrian fatalities, 17 playground fatalities, 10 dog-bite fatalities.
HB400 IS BAD LEGISLATION AND IT FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE REALITY OF THE PROBLEM THAT IT INTENDS TO SOLVE
BOB WAS A PIT BULL Bob was a Pit Bull. He was my best friend. Dad brought him home when he was twelve weeks old. He came from a list of Grand Champions. His daddy used to win a lot of shows.
As Bob grew older some neighbors got scared. They said Bob would bite someone. My friends all play with Bob. When he grabs their pants leg, they donít care. They know he is just having fun. I like to take him for walks and train him with treats and at night he lays on the covers, right at my feet.
Bob stays in his crate while I am at school. That is dad and mommaís rule. Daddy said not to ever let him run loose and momma never forgot about Bob eating her shoes. The man on TV said all the Pit Bulls had to leave. He wanted to take them all and have them put to sleep.
He said a little boy was killed by a Pit Bull tied up in his neighbor's backyard and that all Pit Bulls are mean If that Pit Bull was tied up, maybe his life was hard and he didnít have anyone to love him like Bob has me.
Every day after school we like to play and we have a lot of fun. People said he would turn on me, but Bob didnít want to hurt anyone. He could climb a tree and hang there all day He likes to chase me around the yard, I even taught him to sit and stay. Please God, why did you let them take Bob away.
They passed some kind of law in my town called BSL, because they believe a Pit Bull is bred to attack. Bob never hurt anyone; but, Dad said, Bob may have to leave and never come back. We canít afford to move, because of his job and the money. Momma gave me a hug and cried and said I'm sorry honey.
I ran to my room with Bob at my heels. I had made a promise to him as a pup; I would love him for years. As I lay crying on my bed, Bob kissed away the tears. Then the day came, they took him away. I vowed then and there, he would never be replaced.
Dad and Mom said they would get me a new dog. One not deemed vicious, by some stupid law. I told them, no dog could make up for Bob! Why did they listen to that man on TV? Bob was a gentle friend, who would not hurt a flea. That man was wrong! Bob would never turn on me!
They said because of mean and cruel people, all Pit Bulls like Bob, must go to jail where they are given a shot to put them to sleep. Than an Angel would come and take them to heaven for God to keep. I cried all night, for the loss of my best friend. How could the man on TV be so heartless to small kids like me? I know in my heart Bob is now gone. I feel him watching and waiting to be by my side. In my heart, Bob will always live on.
Mr. Bryant, the man on TV, never once met Bob. How could he know what would happen? I was never mean or cruel to Bob and I loved him so very much! How could he kill a good dog like Bob and still have the stomach to go eat his lunch. He has made many dogs like Bob be abandoned or die! He canít see the real problem! Can someone tell me why?
It's not kids or people like me, who take their dog to training school, or the ones who use dogs like Bob, for search and rescues. It's people who torture them, starve them, beat them, thatís what must end! They are the reason my dog is dead Mr. Bryant; But, instead, you killed my best friend!
Just because some people donít look after their animals, I had to loose my one and only companion. The one I loved with all my heart. Why donít you go after the ones who are mean? If you want to help, that's where to start! Stop killing innocent puppies, sending them to heavens gate. Stop bullying the innocent. Quit throwing around your weight! Instead do what most government people have forgotten how to do, do the right thing, look at the truth! Pit Bull dogs like Bob, are not the threat, for the threat lies in ignorant people like you.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.....Voltaire, (1694-1778)
I'm sorry you are frightened of my dogs and are trying to have them killed because they are pitbulls.
I'm sorry you lack the understanding of this breed's true history, gentleness with people, wonderful temperament, intelligence and behavioral conformation.
I'm sorry you won't read the ATTS stats regarding our breed's true temperament, putting it in the top four for temperament, scoring better than breeds like Golden Retrievers, and cocker spaniels.
I'm sorry that you side with and protect animal abusers by marking the breed of dog, and not the irresponsibility of the owner.
I'm sorry that by your logic I could steal a car, run some people over with it, and then you can blame the make of car for the accident, as I walk free.
I'm sorry you generalize one breed of dog with one group of people.
I'm sorry you can't see the love and determination that many often highly educated, non-criminal and "normal" types of people show towards this breed and the great personal sacrifices that they make to take care of their dog responsibly.
I'm sorry you cannot go into the shelters and see the hundreds of abandoned and abused pitbulls, dying only for the inane "crime" of being born the breed they are.
I'm sorry you cannot see the look of disappointment in their eyesas someone walks by their kennel, and refuses to consider adopting them based on an ill-educated, fear-mongering reporter.
I'm sorry that you cannot be there when the animal looks at a human for the last time, and in spite of betrayed by all humans they have met, their tail still wags as someone approaches with the syringe of Euthinol.
I'm sorry you cannot be there when law enforcement shoots one of your dogs dead inside it's own home in front of the children it mutually loves for simply getting off the dog bed and walking over to say hello with it's tail wagging.
I'm sorry you cannot be there to rescue pitbull puppies from a plastic bag in a dumpster, dumped there by someone switching their illegal and inhumane activities to another, more lucrative breed.
I'm sorry you cannot understand the difference between canine and human aggression, in the way that this breed can. Yes, I'm saying my pitbull is smarter then you.
I'm sorry that the medieval witchhunting genetics of intolerance, generalization, and racism make you feel the need to vilify a breed of dog.
I'm sorry that justice, equality, tolerance, common sense are all things you hold dear as a fellow Canadian, and expect from others, but do not yourself offer them towards a pitbull or its caregiver.
I'm sorry that you don't take the constructive time to petition changes in the Canadian animal cruelty act, and in the criminal code that would deal out serious punishment to the real animal abusers.
I'm sorry you cannot see the disappointed look on a puppy's face when the people petting it quickly frown and walk away when you tell them it is a pitbull.
I'm sorry you feel the need to terrorize my family and my dogs for crimes we never have and never will commit.
I'm sorry you don't have to live in fear of your dog's safety from hysterical and mentally unstable people trying to inflict allmanner of evil upon your dogs.
I'm sorry that you cannot see my breed working in some of the best Search and Rescue groups in the world, saving countless lives each year
I'm sorry our media censors and refuses to print the breed name "pitbull' when in connection with a positive act such as saving a person or child from a burning house, drowning, wild attacking animals, etc.
I'm sorry you cannot see the many pitbulls registered as therapy dogs and bringing so much joy to another misunderstood, neglected demographic inour society, the senior citizen.
I am sorry you can't see a pitbull kiss a child, step carefully over a kitten,or play in a sunbeam.
I'm sorry you cannot wake in the morning to feel a warm pitbull cuddled next to you in bed, and know that you are their total world, and even if the house caught fire and trapped you they would stay with you to the end.
But, now that I really think about it, I'm not at all sorry you don't own a pitbull--you do not deserve one.
Rob MacBean The Mongrel Hordes Lake Cowichan BC (Permission granted by me the author to crosspost as long as it stays intact, and with my name on it.)
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.
My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed, "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you.
You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.
I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?" Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself --a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you.
I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.