Dogs and humans have been best friends for centuries. Most canines are loyal, loving creatures, but some can be aggressive and dangerous. In almost every instance this is due to the training and treatment they have received from their humans. People living near one of these dogs may feel they are constantly under the threat of an attack, especially when the owner does not keep the dog at home and under control. It is never a comfortable situation, but there are things people can do to increase their safety.
Increase Security Measures
Most people do not want to live in a fortress, but making a yard less accessible to uninvited guests will increase the security of the pets and people at that home. Make certain the fence is tall enough to keep all dogs on their own side and make it a habit to keep gates closed. Do not feed pets outside and keep all garbage secured to avoid enticing wandering animals.
Make Walking Safer
It is important to stay aware of the surroundings and to keep pets close enough to control. Avoid retractable leashes that make it too easy for pets to wander far away. Carry pepper spray for protection. It is a great deterrent, but it will not fatally harm the attacking dog. By having their own dog trained and socialized and by staying calm, owners can reduce the risk of their pet encouraging a fight or attack.
Inform the Authorities
At any sign of aggression, contact the local police department and animal control. Most communities have leash laws, so reporting a loose dog repeatedly may get the owner fined. If the dog is caught by animal control, the owner will need to pay an impound fee to the shelter to have their dog returned, and they will also be required to provide proof of a rabies vaccination. These expenses and inconveniences often convince people to keep their dog under control.
Worst Case Scenario
Despite all evasive measures, sometimes an attack occurs. In most instances the dog will bite and run away, but serious attacks do happen. Do not run away as this may excite the dog further. Try to be commanding by using a deep voice and ordering the animal to stop or go home. Initially, the victim should attempt to cover their head, face and neck. If the animal continues to attack, fighting back is necessary. Kick and punch the dog in the throat, eyes and nose. Use anything nearby to strike or throw at the animal.
Every injury should be reported to the police and treated by a medical professional. Dog bites can become infected and may be deeper and more severe than they initially seem. It is also important to have a record of the attack, so the victim can be certain the dog was immunized and healthy. Dog bite victims are protected under personal injury laws. A dog bite attorney can help the victim to file a lawsuit to assist them in getting compensation for their suffering and their medical bills. Even if the bite is minor, consider contacting an attorney. The more complications the owner has due to their careless behavior, the less likely they are to continue ignoring their responsibilities.
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