The U.S. Postal Service has listed Sacramento among the worst dog-attack cities in the nation, reports the Sacramento Bee newspaper. See, “Sacramento ranks No. 14 on U.S. Postal Service dog-attack list.” There are too many loose pit bulls running around the streets in Sacramento and its neighbor, Stockton, and too many loose dog attacks that end in a person getting bitten to death or scarred for life, frequently scarred on the face. Each year there’s a report of yet another fatality from dog bite, usually from a loose dog running in a public area or entering someone’s yard.
Last night a woman was bitten to death by a loose pit pull that entered her yard, according to the April 12, 2013 Sacramento Bee and Stockton Record articles, “Update: Stockton residents shaken after pit bull kills woman.” The news also was reported on TV on Fox40. In the latest case, the pit bull was found in the backyard of the home where the attack happened. The dog is now in the county shelter being held until the investigation is done.
Some of the neighbors questioned reported that in the past, the dog has jumped fences to attack other animals, One neighbor told the Stockton Record that the dog attacked her dog and once bit her late husband, adding that the dog’s owner has other pit bulls on the property. The big issue here is that after the attacks were reported in the past to the Sheriff’s Office, the authorities said there was little they could do at the time, according to the Stockton Record news article.
Sacramento and its neighbor city, Stockton have had a long history of dogs that are capable of digging under fences, jumping over fences, or being allowed to run loose in the streets. This poses a danger to pedestrians on their way to shopping for food or going to appointments. See, “Pit Bulls Lead ‘Bite’ Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties.”
Sacramento and Stockton seniors, blind pedestrians, and those with disabilities, including people in wheelchairs, and parents pushing strollers on the sidewalk, people who don’t drive and must walk to supermarkets, the bus stop, or walk for exercise to get out of their homes or apartments are constantly being plagued by loose dogs of all breeds. Most of the time the owners aren’t at home, and the dogs somehow manage to get out of the yards, or the yards are left open. A few months ago, someone sitting on the grassy lawn in front of the phone company in the Arden Arcade area was busy chatting to friends while the owner’s chihuahua ran down the street to bark and threaten to bite a senior with visual impairment trying to walk on a public sidewalk one block to the supermarket.
The barking dog was ignored by the owners about 200 feet ahead sitting on the lawn, heads turned away from the dog, and the pedestrian had to turn around and go the other way. Being trapped in one’s home by a loose, barking dog guarding the block you live on is frightening to a visually impaired senior trying to reach a nearby food market.
Dog bites can come from a dog of any breed or size, especially when confronting pedestrians of low mobility on a public sidewalk when the owner is distracted by conversation and doesn’t look in the direction of where the unleashed dog has wandered. A similar scenario frequently repeats at public parks and on trails around scenic areas such as the local lakes.
How many people were killed by dog bite attacks?
In 2012, 38 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and in more than 600 U.S. cities, three pit bulls contributed to 61% (23) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population, according to the website on national dog bites causing fatalities, Dogsbite.org. The site also reports the following national statistics from 2005 to 2012:
Together, pit bulls (23) and rottweilers (3), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 68% of all fatal attacks in 2012. In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, this combination accounted for 73% (183) of the total recorded deaths (251).
The breakdown between pit bulls and rottweilers is substantial over this 8-year period. From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans, about one citizen every 19 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 32, about one citizen every 91 days.
Annual data from 2012 shows that 50% (19) of the victims were adults, 21-years and older, and the other half were children, ages 8-years and younger. Of the total children killed by dogs in 2012, 79% (15) were ages 2-years and younger.
Annual data also shows that males were more often victims, 61% (23), than females. The majority of male victims, 61% (14), were ages 8-years and younger. Of the total female victims, only 33% (5) fell into this same age group.
In 2012, roughly one-third, 32% (12), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog’s owner when the fatal attack occurred. Children 8-years and younger accounted for 75% (9) of these deaths.
34% (13) of all fatalities in 2012 involved more than one dog; 13% (5) involved breeding on the dog owner’s property either actively or in the recent past, and 5% (2) involved tethered dogs, down from 6% in 2011, 9% in 2010 and 19% in 2009.
Should you carry an electronic dog repellant, and do they work to deter dog attacks?
Be aware that if you use any given electronic dog repellent that relies on sound, a deaf guard dog won’t hear it or respond to the sound. Perhaps you may want to prepare for National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is celebrated annually each May. There’s also National Dog Bite Prevention Month as well. See, Need for More Awareness about Dog Bite Prevention.
In Sacramento, one of the most frightening experiences for an older adult or a child pedestrian is to walk down a residential street on the way to a store or other appointment and meet up with a loose dog or simply a dog on its own front lawn or in a driveway, not being held on a leash by the owner–when the dog suddenly barks and rushes from its lawn, crosses the street and jumps in attack on the pedestrian. When this happens, most often the owner’s back is to the pedestrian, usually washing a car or in a garage.
Cyclists also are chased by loose dogs. Often dog owners have no idea their dog dug under the fence and got out. Or more often in Sacramento residential neighborhoods, dog owners may not realize the extent of a dog’s territory. The unleashed dog crosses the street to attack a pedestrian walking by as one way of protecting the large territorial area around the dog owner’s home.
That’s just one way dog bites in Sacramento frequently occur as seniors who no longer drive walk to supermarkets. People who are accustomed to driving to shopping don’t realize that older people who don’t drive need to walk daily on their streets to get to appointments, mail letters, or buy food. More than 5,600 mail carriers were victims last year of dog attacks.
The widespread problem cost the U.S. Postal Service nearly $1.2 million in medical expenses, the government reported on May 12, 2011. See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site on dog bite prevention.
Also check out the May 14, 2011 Sacramento Bee print edition article by Carlos Alcala, “Does your dog bite? Ask USPS.” And check out online the Associated press May 14, 2011 article,”Dog bites mail man _ more than 5,600 attacks.”
Sometimes postal service workers carry an umbrella to open in case of a dog attack. Once in a while a dog may back off after you open an umbrella near the dog if the dog is actually attacking you.
Don’t open an umbrella in front of a dog that has not started to attack you because that act may frighten the dog into attacking. The U.S. Postal service suggests that if you meet an attack dog don’t run or scream. And avoid eye contact.
Should you just stand frozen in place and let the dog come at you? One big problem in Sacramento is dog bites because people don’t put their dog in a place where the dog can’t reach the mail carrier who delivers the mail.
The warmer the city, the more the dog bites. Sacramento, CA and Houston, TX were most often the site of dog attacks. But you don’t need constant warm weather for dogs to bite anyone who delivers mail or other parcels. Letter carriers were bitten in more than 1,400 cities around the country.
The U.S. Postal Service released the numbers in advance of annual dog bite prevention week, which begins next week. Its goal is to try and reduce the number of dog attacks, both on mail carriers and in the general population. Last year more than 4.7 million Americans were bitten, most of them children.
“Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Pedestrians, including many seniors who walk instead of drive, people who are blind or have other disabilities and use the sidewalks to get to public transportation, and children walking to and from school are victims of dog bite, which includes anyone walking in the streets and meeting a dog that has become loose by digging under their yard fences or breaking free from a tether.
Cities where dog bite rates are high include Houston, Columbus, San Diego, Los Angeles, Louisville, San Antonia, St. Louis, Cleveland, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and Seattle.
People not home, working, or not paying attention to dogs or those who let dogs out in front of their homes on their front lawn are not considering the one or two visually-impaired or slow-walking seniors who don’t drive that must walk down the block to do daily shopping or attend appointments.
These middle-aged or younger people don’t realize that when they let their dog unleashed in front of their home while they wash their car or tend to anything in their driveway, the dog will most likely cross the street to attack a stranger passing on the sidewalk, and most times the person attacked is someone who is a nondriver, usually a senior or a child.
These people who don’t keep their dog on a leach when in front of their house don’t realize that a dog most likely will bark and then cross the sidewalk to attack anyone who passes by. Often the person can’t get control of the dog before it runs to bite someone walking down the sidewalk.
Tips from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to avoid being bitten:
-Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
-If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
-Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
-If you believe a dog is about to attack, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
The U.S. Postal Service also advises dog owners to keep dogs inside when the letter carrier arrives. The Postal Service advises the following for dog owners:
-When a carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room.
-Don’t let your child take mail from the carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog’s instinct is to protect the family. For further information on how to prevent your dog from biting the pedestrian walking down the street or the letter carrier check out the USPS website.
Should You Carry an Electronic Attack Dog Repellent?
Maybe what you might research is an electronic attack dog repellent, but deaf dogs won’t be able to hear it. Check out, Dog repellent electronic dog deterrent prevent dog attacks. The Safecity Repel electronic dog repelling device will help prevent dog attacks unless you meet a deaf dog. The device won’t work if the dog can’t hear it.
Let’s say you’re a slow-walking senior citizen walking down any given residential street in Sacramento on your way to an appointment. What do you do when a loose dog leaves the lawn in front of its owner’s house, barks at you, and then runs toward you? What can you do? If the dog is not deaf, you might carry an electronic dog repellent.
You don’t have to be a delivery person to protect yourself from dog owners who let their dog loose. Sometimes attack dogs dig under the fence and get loose only to chase and bite anyone they see walking down the street. Let’s say you just got off the bus and are walking down a strange (or your own) residential street in Sacramento.
You could quickly open an umbrella right in the dog’s face without touching the dog, but that may not work with a dog not afraid of umbrellas and determined to bite you. Can you do anything else to save your life or your skin and bones from an attack dog? Should you carry an electronic attack dog repellent?
Let’s say you’ve purchased an electronic dog repellent and have met up with a loose dog running toward you as you slowly walk down the street, not looking into the dog’s eyes. Or maybe you’re in a wheel chair. You hold the electronic dog repellent device in your hand. One type of dog repellent is the Safecity Repel electronic dog repellent.
If you are in fear of an impeding dog attack, press the button and point the device towards the dog, notes the advice on the company’s website. Keep pressing the button for 2 to 3 seconds intervals. The most effective manner to use the Safecity Repel electronic dog repellent is to keep delivering multiple bursts of 2 to 3 second intervals. This is what is likely to take place if the dog is not deaf.
- The dog will perceive the sound from the Safecity Repel electronic dog repelling device from as far of up to 5 metres.
- The dog will definitely hear the sound between 1.5 and 3 metres.
- Typically the dog will stop. advancing and retreat or will continue to act aggressively from a safe distance.
- You calmly walk out (not run) of the area into a safe place.
The Safecity Repel electronic dog deterrent device will not hurt the dog physically. The ultrasound pitch is a sound that the dog does not like. The animal will try to avoid it. The purpose of the electronic dog repelling device is to create and maintain a safe zone between you and the aggressive dog–this to help prevent a dog attack.
Not all dogs will be deterred by an electronic dog repellent device. It may not be effective on all canines. Age, temperament, illness and training may affect an animal’s behavior. You may have to rely on your wits.
Of course, you might carry some dog treats in a plastic bag to offer the dog who runs at you to attack. Some people even carry a small tin of dog food or a smaller yet tin of meat, such as chicken in a cat-food tin with a snap open lid. If you talk to pedestrians, particularly seniors and children who have been chased by loose dogs walking to their home or to the bus stop in Sacramento, you’ll find some carry dog treats to distract the dog from biting them. But is this the answer?
Could there be something that works even with deaf dogs? Should you offer dog food to a dog that’s attacking you? See the site, Dog Aggression: The Humane Society of the United States. Some dogs with food aggression become even more aggressive around food. But can most dogs make friends with you if you offer food each time you walk down the same street, such as the block on which you live, and the same loose dog comes at you to attack?
See, Why Dogs Attack People | Dog Info | Dog Breeds | Dog Training. If you’ve spoken to your neighbor about a loose dog that chases you as you walk down your own block daily, should you carry dog treats if the person can’t keep his/her dog in the yard? Or should you keep calling Animal Control about a loose dog?
And in Sacramento, why does Animal Control insist that you give your name if you see a dog being tethered in front of your neighbors home and you want someone to tell the owner not to tie his/her dogs up in front of the house where pedestrians walk and there’s heavy traffic?
There should be a website where people could anonymously report dogs being tethered in front of their homes because this makes the dog even more angry as pedestrians pass by in a public street in front of the dog’s home.
Should You Carry an Electronic Dog Repellent Device?
Thousands of joggers, cyclists, older adults, meter readers, police, and telephone workers are using the Safecity Repel electronic dog repellent device effectively to avoid contact with dogs. The product is available only to persons over the age of 18. All buyers of the the Safecity Repel Electronic Dog Repellent Device will be required to sign a contract that they will use the product solely for the purpose of preventing a dog attack.
The Safecity Repel Electronic Dog Repellent Device website notes, “That product may not be used for the purpose of punishing or terrorizing dogs. Safecity will commence legal action for breach of contract against any person who uses the Safecity Repel Electronic Dog Repellent Device for any purpose other than the prevention of a dog attack. The Safecity electronic dog repellent Safecity electronic dog repellent device designed to be an aid in deterring the approach of and in training canines, It is not designed and should not he used on other animals or humans.”
- The website also notes that, “The Safecity electronic dog repellent device may not be effective on all canines. Age, temperament, illness and training may affect an animal’s behavior, thereby making the Safecity electronic dog repellent device ineffective as a deterrent. Caution should always be maintained to avoid unnecessary contact with potentially dangerous animals.”
- The Safecity electronic dog repellent device will have no effect on a deaf animal. The Safecity electronic dog repellent device should not be directed at humans at any time or at animals far prolonged periods. The Safecity electronic dog repellent device should not be used by children except with proper adult supervision and instruction.
- The Safecity electronic dog repellent device should only be used by a responsible adult in accordance with the instructions and Cautions and Warnings. Always check that the red battery light illuminates when activated.
- The Safecity Repel Electronic Dog Repellent Device website also says that, “The Safecity electronic dog repellent device manufacturer or its dealers or suppliers cannot be responsible for any damage or injury suffered as a result of misuse of the Safecity electronic dog repellent device or failure to observe the instructions enclosed with the product.”
4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and one in five dog bites results in injuries that require medical attention, according to the CDC website. After you’ve check the various companies that offer devices that may help prevent dog bites, check out the government sites, such as the CDC’s site on preventing dog bites. According to the government, there are ways to make dog bites less likely and to help prevent children from being bitten by dogs.
What does the government offer on the subject of preventing dog bites? Check out the CDC website. According to the CDC website, there is the following information, including an excellent podcast.
CDC Podcast on Preventing Dog Bites
Listen to this CDC podcast to learn some steps you can take to prevent dog bites. (4 minutes,05 seconds)
How big is the dog bite problem, according to the CDC?
Who is most at risk?
How can dog bites be prevented? Dog bites are a largely preventable public health problem, and adults and children can learn to reduce their chances of being bitten.
Before you bring a dog into your household:
If you decide to bring a dog into your home:
Are there safety tips for children? To help prevent children from being bitten by dogs, teach the following basic safety tips and review them regularly:
What are CDC’s programs and activities in this area? Campaign to Educate Georgians about Dog Bites.
CDC’s Injury Center funded the Georgia Division of Public Health to conduct a dog bite prevention campaign in Chatham, Bullock, and Effingham counties.
During their first year, program staff used the Community Readiness Model to complete a needs assessment. In 2002, a random digit dial telephone survey to assess knowledge, attitudes and behaviors associated with dog bite prevention was conducted.
Program staff use educational materials and media outreach to teach children, parents, dog owners, health care providers and other adults about the risk of dog bite-related injuries and about strategies for preventing such injuries.
A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention
Prepared by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions*
Dog bites are a serious public health problem that can inflict considerable physical and emotional damage on victims and be extremely costly to communities. Decreasing dog bites requires active and ongoing community involvement; passive or periodic attention will not solve this problem.
The CDC’s task force report is intended to help state and local leaders find effective ways to reduce the dog bite problem in their communities. The report covers:
The CDC’s task force report contains everything community leaders should consider when starting a dog bite prevention program. Also included are a model dog control ordinance and model legislation for the control of dangerous dogs. The report is available as a PDF on the American Veterinary Medical Association website (500KB 18 pages) *
Work with State Health Departments
CDC is committed to reducing this public health problem. CDC has worked with state health departments to establish dog bite prevention programs and continues to track and report trends on U.S. dog bite injuries. People who choose to own pit bulls or any other large breeds that tend to dig their way out under fences or jump over them need to find other ways to keep the dogs from getting out of their yards.
- About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
- Almost one in five of those who are bitten :a total of 885,000: require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries.
- In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
- Children: Among children, the rate of dog bite–related injuries is highest for those ages 5 to 9 years, and children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites than adults. Recent research shows that the rate of dog–bite related injuries among children seems to be decreasing.
- Adult Males: Among adults, males are more likely than females to be bitten.
- People with dogs in their homes: Among children and adults, having a dog in the household is associated with a higher incidence of dog bites. As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the incidence of dog bites. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.
- Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn what breeds of dogs are the best fit for your household.
- Dogs with histories of aggression are not suitable for households with children.
- Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about a dog. If a child seems frightened by dogs, wait before bringing a dog into your household.
- Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a household with an infant or toddler.
- Spay/neuter your dog (this often reduces aggressive tendencies).
- Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.
- Don’t play aggressive games with your dog (e.g., wrestling).
- Properly socialize and train any dog entering your household. Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g., rolling over to expose the abdomen and giving up food without growling).
- Immediately seek professional advice (e.g., from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders) if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Do not run from a dog or scream.
- Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., “be still like a log”).
- Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
- Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
- Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.
- Representative national statistics on the existing dog bite problem
- How to mobilize a community and the infrastructure needed to establish a program
- Specific prevention recommendations
- Recommendations for dog bite reporting
- Educational and communication approaches and targets
Train your dog not to attack strangers walking by on the public sidewalk, riding bikes in the bike path, or passing in front of your yard. People who deliver the mail should be able to deliver the mail in safety. You’re dog shouldn’t be blocking or guarding your mail box slot.
Some studies involved calling people to ask about their experience with dogs and history of being bitten, and others used data from hospitals and emergency departments to estimate the number of dog bite–related injuries treated. See the publications page for a list of studies on dog bites. For further information, check out, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), US Postal Service, American Association of Plastic Surgeons. And for reading more about the issue, see, Publications.