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Take steps to prevent dog bites

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

To the editor,

In light of the tragic mauling death of a four-day-old Jacksonville infant, I urge readers to proactively prevent other children from being bitten by dogs by following these tips:

• Always spay or neuter dogs. Unaltered dogs of any breed tend to be more territorial and more aggressive, which makes them three times more likely to bite. For the nearest low-cost spay/neuter clinics, call 1-800-248-SPAY.

• Never chain or cage dogs. The lack of socialization and inability to escape perceived threats makes chained dogs nearly three times more likely to attack than dogs who are not tethered.

• Report cruelty to animals immediately. Dogfighters and people using dogs as “guard dogs” often beat, starve, and taunt dogs to make them aggressive–and more likely to attack.

• Never leave animals and children unattended together. Both animals and children can be unpredictable, and even the most docile dog may bite if a child pulls the animal’s tail or startles the dog while he or she is sleeping.

To learn more, visit www.PETA.org.

Lindsay Pollard-Post

Research Specialist, The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.