by Sarah Hock, Humane Society of Central Arizona
How do you avoid getting bitten by a dog? Start by being polite and respecting the dog’s personal space. Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who’s tied or confined behind a fence or in a car. Don’t pet a dog — even your own — without letting him see and sniff you first.
Don’t disturb a dog while she’s sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies. Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog who doesn’t know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.
Pay attention to the dog’s body language. Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:
• tensed body
• stiff tail
• pulled back head and/or ears
• furrowed brow
• eyes rolled so the whites are visible
• flicking tongue
• intense stare
• backing away
When putting space between yourself and a dog who might bite, never turn your back on him dog and run away. A dog’s natural instinct will be to chase and catch you.
What to do if you think a dog may attack
If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:
Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.
What to do if you’re bitten by a dog
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic.
Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Contact your physician for additional care and advice.
Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where he lives. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you’ve seen him before, and in which direction he went.
Featured on this page are just a few of the many wonderful pets available for adoption at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, located at 602 W. Wilson Court, just south of Main Street. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed Sunday and holidays. Adoptable pets are already spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations. For more information, call (928) 474-5590 or visit our Web site at www.humanesocietycentralaz.org.
Brownie Bear is a 4-year-old Chow/shepherd mix who came from a hoarding situation. He has been around lots of dogs, but hasn’t had much people time. He’s a little shy, but will follow people quietly for attention. Brownie Bear had bad eyes when he arrived, and likely hadn’t been able to see well for years. He had eye surgery in our care, but still has difficulty seeing. He startles easily, so pet him slowly and give him time to sniff and he’ll warm up! He will lean on your legs when walking so that he has a “seeing eye human!” He is dog social, but prefers quiet friends that move at his pace. He would do well in a quieter home with someone who can appreciate his gentle personality.
Daisy is an 8-year-old hound mix. I am a distinguished, older gal with a calm, regal demeanor! I enjoy attention, but am perfectly content to explore on my own, too. I walk well on a leash, and enjoy casual strolls with plenty of time to sniff! Other dogs are okay, as long as they are quiet and respectful.
Orange is a 4-month-old domestic short-hair who is making great strides every day when it comes to interacting and accepting affection from people. He gets along great with other cats and would really benefit from being adopted with another kitten so he has a buddy to help him feel more confident. He does like to have his ear scratched and loves to play with kitty toys.
Chrissy is a 5-year-old domestic long-hair. She is an easygoing girl who loves to explore in a safe outdoor enclosure. She has lived with dogs and kids. Chrissy is a sweet girl who likes to do her own thing, but still loves to get attention from people.
Sockatee is a 4-year-old domestic medium-hair. He is a big boy with an even bigger heart. He is very affectionate and loves people of all ages. He has lived with other cats and dogs, and actually prefers the company of dogs over cats. Sockatee likes to meow and talk to you. He isn’t afraid to let you know that he wants a tasty treat or a nice ear scratch.
Shuggs is a 1-year-old boxer/ lab mix who was brought in by a good Samaritan who found him wandering in the road. It appears he has had some sort of face trauma, but we don’t know what happened — possibly a birth defect or hit by a car. His jaw is pushed to the side, and he’s missing several lower teeth, but he sure doesn’t let his physical defects get him down! He’s a pretty mellow little guy, and was friendly with everyone from the moment he arrived. He enjoys affection, and will happily lean on the legs of anyone willing to give him a pat. Shuggs gets along best with other easygoing dogs — he will play in dog groups occasionally, but is often content just to explore independently of the action. He loves people and will gladly be your new best friend! Shuggs enjoys the chase, and needs a home without cats.