It's national dog bite prevention week, and a recent report shows, vicious dog attacks are on the rise in Colorado Springs.
The Humane Society received 348 reports of vicious dogs in the first quarter of 2004, indluding 31 cases involving bites. That's compared to a total of about one thousand complaints through all of 2003.
Many dog owners might wonder, with the passage of a bill paving the way for stiffer penalties for dog owners whose pets attack people, should I get pet insurance?
There are insurance policies available through some companies which will cover you if your dog bites someone.
The new legislation holds owners responsible if their pet attacks someone, even if it's the first time. Some say, these types of situations can be easily avoided with a better discipline and training. Trainer Ryan Brown says, "the dog needs to know you're the leader, you have to have that dominance over the dog to respect you so if you're out in a public situation and you tell them to come, they'll come."
For extra protection, owners can insure themselves from a bite with what's called an umbrella policy. But, be aware some dogs, like rottweilers won't be covered by most insurance companies.
Experts say even a trained dog can be caught off guard and does have the potential to bite. Brown offers some tips to avoid an attack situation:
- try to stay calm.
- hold still and don't run, which may rile up a dog even further...
- keep an eye on the dog, but don't stare and if you have some food, drop it.
- most dogs will eventually lose interest and leave a person alone.