Mail carriers are often at risk for dog bites, but these incidents can be prevented through education, training and proper control of dogs, according to the Commission on Animal Care and Control in Chicago. The U.S. Postal Service is collaborating with the AVMA and several other organizations on efforts to promote dog-bite prevention.
A 78-year-old man was bitten by a dog in Monroeville, Ohio, which happened, ironically, during National Dog Bite Prevention Week. AVMA's Animal Welfare Division Director Gail C. Golab said: "Warm and wonderful relationships are shared between more than 72 million pet dogs and their owners in the United States. To protect those relationships, everyone must take responsibility for preventing dog-bite injuries."
Hillsborough County Animal Services in Florida will offer free training tips for dog owners and other activities on Saturday to kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which begins Sunday. Data from AVMA show that about half of dog-bite incidents involve children, which can be prevented by training, says AVMA's Dr. James Cook. "That's why National Dog Bite Prevention Week is so important. Teaching people how to communicate with and properly behave around dogs is the best cure for dog bites," he said.
During National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs May 16 to 22, the U.S. Postal Service will remind pet owners to leash their dogs properly to lessen the incidence of attacks on letter carriers. According to the AVMA, the most frequent dog-bite victims are children, seniors and mail carriers, in that order.
A group of pit bull supporters expressed concern over the recent dog-bite attack on a 6-month-old child in Murrieta, Calif., saying the incident could harm the dog's already-shaky reputation. "Everyone can agree that reducing dog bites is a common goal, but the media's emphasis on breed rather than circumstances is misguided," one supporter said. The article cites AVMA data on dog attacks and bite wounds involving children.