Don Famico, Certified Animal Control Officer in Salem, MA, shares some tips on how to prevent dog bites, both for owners and non-owners of dogs.
Good morning. I’m Don Famico. I’m the Animal Control Officer with the City of Salem as well as Inspector of Animals for the State of Massachusetts. This morning, we’re here to talk about dog bite prevention. My first advice to homeowners is to maybe post a sign on the premises of your property of “beware of dogs”. At least, somebody’s coming in as a guest, they’re aware that there is a dog on the premises, so they’re not all of a sudden meeting up with this dog on the back side of the property. It just makes them alert to that fact.
The second thing is to try to educate children on the proper methods of approaching a dog. You want to make sure that they always ask permission of the dog owner to, “Can I pat the dog?” You want to make sure that they’re not bothering the dog when the dog is eating or sleeping. That’s three good points for children to be aware of. Third thing is, if you’re walking down the street and there’s a dog coming in the opposite direction, you want to either step aside, allow that dog to pass by, keep yourself at a safe distance. You don’t really want to make eye contact. If for some reason you feel as though you want to pat that dog, or make contact, be sure to ask the dog owner for permission first, if it’s permissible for you to go over and make contact with the dog.