Baltimore County Now
Charlotte Crenson, Chief
Baltimore County Health Department
Division of Animal Control
May 19-25 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week - the perfect time to remind pet owners and parents what to do to prevent dog bites. With warm temperatures in the forecast, people and pets are sure to spend more time outdoors, making it vital for pet owners to protect themselves and their pets by obeying animal laws and preventing bites.
The Department of Health investigates approximately 1,000 bite and scratch exposures from dogs annually. Most dog bites occur between April and the end of September, and although the majority of bites are not serious, there are things everyone should do when in the company of a canine companion:
Tips to Share With Children:
• Be kind to dogs and do not tease them.
• Do not run from a dog and scream.
• Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Tips for Pet Owners/Parents:
• Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.
• Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to Baltimore County Animal Control at 410-887-5961.
• Always have your dog on a leash when off of your property.
• Do not play aggressive games with your dog (e.g., wrestling).
If you or someone you know is bitten by a dog:
• File a police report by calling 911.
• If the owner is present, request proof of rabies vaccination, their name, and contact information. If the animal is a stray and can be safely confined, contact Baltimore County Animal Control Division at 410-887-5961.
• Clean bite wound with soap and water.
• Contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
Responsible pet ownership is the key to having a long lasting relationship with our animals, and preventing bites within our communities.