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Dog Bites Drop Nearly Two-Thirds Since 1995

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August 18, 2009

The County Department of Animal Services recently completed an analysis of reported dog bites to children who were 12 years of age or younger, officials reported today.

The analysis found a 63 percent reduction in dog bites, from a high of 1,203 in 1995 to a low of 450 in 2008.

The report also noted that there was a similar reduction in “serious” injury dog bites to children from a high of 109 in 1996 to 46 in 2008.

“While it may be hard to draw a direct correlation, we believe that some credit goes to our dog bite prevention program that we present to schools and other youth organizations within the county,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of Animal Services.

“While even one dog bite is too many, the County is vigorously trying to educate kids and residents to prevent it from happening.”

 Video: The BARK Program is brought to a local school. 

Children are considered among the most vulnerable for dog bites because kids are small and very quick-moving. This quick movement along with high-pitched voices can create excitement in dogs which can lead to a biting incident.

County Animal Services offers the following dog bite prevention tips for children:
• Do not stare a dog in the eyes
• Do not turn your back on the dog
• Do slowly walk away sideways
• If the dog attacks and jumps on you, curl up in a ball on the ground and protect your face

For more information about the dog bite prevention program, residents can contact the Department of Animal Services at (619) 236-4250 or visit

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