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1 A community approach to dog bite prevention American Veterinary Medical Association Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions EMBERS ORCE F M T THE OF ASK Table of Contents , DVM, MS, DACVB (Chair), Department of Bonnie V. Beaver Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Texas A&M University, . . . . . . Introduction and problem statement 1733 College Station, TX 77843-4474, representing the AVMA Scope of the problem Executive Board. Which dogs bite? , MD, FAAP, Pediatric Emergency Department, M. Douglas Baker Room WP143, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, 20 York Dog bite costs to a community St, New Haven, CT 06504, representing the American This program Academy of Pediatrics. Robert C. Gloster , MD, FACEP, Swedish Hospital Medical Multidisciplinary and multiprofessional Center, PO Box 14999, Seattle, WA 98114, representing the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1734 groups American College of Emergency Physicians. Identify dog bite issues in the community William A. Grant , DVM, Community Veterinary Hospital, Identify potential partners, allies, support, and 13200 Euclid St, Garden Grove, CA 92843, representing the funding sources Professional Liability Insurance Trust. Develop an advisory council James M. Harris , DVM, Montclair Veterinary Clinic and - Hospital, 1961 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94611, repre 1735 Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . senting the AVMA Committee on the Human-Animal Bond. Program coordinator , DVM, PhD, DACVB, Department of Anatomy, Benjamin L. Hart Physiology, and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Animal control agencies University of California, Davis, CA 95616, representing the Preventive measures American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. After a bite occurs Danny H. Hattaway , BS, Underwriting Consultant, State Farm Insurance, 1 State Farm Plaza, D-1, Bloomington, IL 61701, Bite data reporting 1738 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . representing the insurance industry. What should be reported? , MD, Director, Science and Public Health Thomas Houston Who should report? Advocacy Programs, American Medical Association, 515 N Who should receive reports? State St, Chicago, IL 60610, representing the American Medical Association. Data management, analysis, interpretation, James R. Koschmann , DVM, MS, Crossroads Animal Hospital, and dissemination 4910 Crossroads Dr, El Paso, TX 79922, representing the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. 1739 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Education , PhD, Vice President/Research and Randall Lockwood Public officials and community leaders Educational Outreach, Humane Society of the United States, Professionals 2100 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037, representing humane Public organizations. Don Rieck , BS, Chief Animal Control Officer, Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Media 1743 Department, City of Sioux Falls, 132 North Dakota Ave, Know the media Sioux Falls, SD 57104, representing the National Animal A spokesperson Control Association. Have information readily available Jeffrey J. Sacks , MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE Ways to effectively convey information (Mailstop K-45), Atlanta, GA 30341, representing the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1745 References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. William S. Strauss , JD, 235A Windsor Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11215, 1746 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendices representing the legal profession. 1. Groups potentially involved in dog bite Jan Strother - , DVM, 809 Hwy 36 E, Hartselle, AL 35640, repre prevention senting the AVMA Council on Public Relations. Model dog and cat control ordinance 2. S TAFF S UPPORT Recommended data elements for reports of 3. Gail C. Golab , PhD, DVM, Division of Education and Research, dog bites American Veterinary Medical Association, 1931 N Meacham Rd, Ste 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, staff consultant. Model legislation for the identification and 4. Julie Horvath , BS, Division of Education and Research, regulation of “dangerous” dogs American Veterinary Medical Association, 1931 N Meacham 5. Suggested reading for professionals Rd, Ste 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, staff assistant. Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 1732

2 14 Introduction and Problem Statement Doing so result in a false sense of accomplishment. Dog bites are a serious public health problem that ignores the true scope of the problem and will not inflicts considerable physical and emotional damage result in a responsible approach to protecting a com - on victims and incurs immeasurable hidden costs to munity’s citizens. communities. Bites have been tolerated as a job-related Dog bite statistics are not really statistics, and they 7 hazard for utility and postal workers, but for many do not give an accurate picture of dogs that bite. communities the problem may be more encompassing. Invariably the numbers will show that dogs from pop - Following a severe attack, there is usually an outcry to ular large breeds are a problem. This should be expect - do something, and the something that is done often ed, because big dogs can physically do more damage if reflects a knee-jerk response. Only later do officials - they do bite, and any popular breed has more individ realize that the response was not effective and, in fact, uals that could bite. Dogs from small breeds also bite may have been divisive for the community. To assist - and are capable of causing severe injury. There are sev communities in avoiding such ineffective responses, eral reasons why it is not possible to calculate a bite the AVMA convened a Task Force on Canine rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds. Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions. Although First, the breed of the biting dog may not be accurate - the number of injuries will never be reduced to zero, ly recorded, and mixed-breed dogs are commonly Task Force members believe a well-planned proactive described as if they were purebreds. Second, the actual community approach can make a substantial impact. number of bites that occur in a community is not The information contained in this report is intended to known, especially if they did not result in serious help leaders find effective ways to address their com - injury. Third, the number of dogs of a particular breed a munity’s dog bite concerns. or combination of breeds in a community is not known, because it is rare for all dogs in a community Scope of the problem to be licensed, and existing licensing data is then 7 Dogs have shared their lives with humans for more - Breed data likely vary between communi incomplete. 1 - than 12,000 years, and that coexistence has con ties, states, or regions, and can even vary between tributed substantially to humans’ quality of life. In the neighborhoods within a community. United States, there are slightly more than 53 million Wolf hybrids are just that: hybrids between wild 2,3 more dogs per dogs sharing the human-canine bond, and domestic canids. Their behavior is unpredictable 1 capita than in any other country in the world. because of this hybridization, and they are usually Unfortunately, a few dogs do not live up to their image treated as wild animals by local or state statutes. Wolf as mankind’s best friend, and an estimated 4.5 million hybrids are not addressed by this program. 4,5 - although the actual num people are bitten each year, Sex differences do emerge from data on various 6 - Approximately 334,000 peo ber injured is unknown. types of aggression. Intact (unneutered) male dogs rep - ple are admitted to US emergency departments annual - resented 80% of dogs presented to veterinary behavior - ly with dog bite-associated injuries, and another ists for dominance aggression, the most commonly 6 1 466,000 are seen in other medical settings. An diagnosed type of aggression. Intact males are also 7,15 unknown number of other people who have been bit - involved in 70 to 76% of reported dog bite incidents. ten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to The sex distribution of dogs inflicting unreported bites - require medical attention. Still another group of indi is not known. Unspayed females that are not part of a viduals is not represented by these data, those that carefully planned breeding program may attract free- incur injuries secondary to a bite or attempted bite. For roaming males, which increases bite risk to people example, a jogger may trip and break an arm while through increased exposure to unfamiliar dogs. Dams fleeing from a threatening dog. are protective of their puppies and may bite those who Of concern too are the demographics of typical try to handle the young. Unspayed females may also dog bite victims. Almost half are children younger than contribute to the population of unwanted dogs that are 6-8 12 years old. People more than 70 years old comprise often acquired by people who do not understand the 9,10 10% of those bitten and 20% of those killed. long-term commitment they have undertaken, that are Direct costs of dog bite injuries are high. The surrendered to animal shelters where many are - insurance industry estimates it pays more than $1 bil destroyed, or that are turned loose under the miscon - 16 lion/y in homeowners’ liability claims resulting from ception that they can successfully fend for themselves. 11 dog bites. Hospital expenses for dog bite-related 6 emergency visits are estimated at $102.4 million. Dog bite costs to a community There are also medical insurance claims, workmen’s Costs associated with dog bite injuries cannot be - compensation claims, lost wages, and sick leave-asso readily measured, because so many intangible quality ciated business costs that have not been calculated. of life issues are involved. This makes it more difficult for community councils to justify the time, effort, and expense necessary to institute a bite reduction program Which dogs bite? when compared to a new fire truck, street paving, or An often-asked question is what breed or breeds of city park. Intangible costs include time spent by vol - dogs are most “dangerous”? This inquiry can be unteer and paid community officials on animal-related prompted by a serious attack by a specific dog, or it issues, deterioration of relationships between neigh - may be the result of media-driven portrayals of a spe - 12,13 bors, building appropriate medical support, citizens’ - Although this is a com cific breed as “dangerous.” concerns about neighborhood safety for children, mon concern, singling out 1 or 2 breeds for control can Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1733 JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

3 The prior existence of a program suggests support, but homeowners’ insurance costs within the community, this may not always be the case. The active support of and animal shelter support for unwanted pets. These a commissioner or health department head (local or are quality of life issues that ultimately determine the state) is critical, because without his/her backing, a desirability of a community to its citizens and that can fledgling dog bite prevention program is vulnerable to motivate proactive community officials to institute a shifting funding initiatives and political pressure. prevention program. Public officials are influenced by vocal well-organized constituencies, so it is important to know what dog This program bite-related agendas are getting politicians’ attention. It Reducing the incidence of dog bites requires active also helps to know whether any legislators have a community involvement; passive attention or a token strong interest in the dog bite issue. commitment is not sufficient. By actively focusing on dog bite prevention, the State of Nevada was able to —News accounts can provide Dogs in the news b reduce the incidence of bites by approximately 15%. clues as to how dog-related issues have played out over Members of the Task Force represented a broad range time. Compare these accounts with available statistical of disciplines and designed the program presented data and scientific assessments for reliability. here. It was recognized that the community approach - must be multidisciplinary and that different communi Identify potential partners, allies, support, and fund - ties will have different needs based on their level of ing sources commitment, preexisting programs, and available Determine which organizations in the community resources. Although the best results will be obtained by are likely to support program efforts or resist them. adopting the entire prevention program, the program is - Some individuals and organizations will emerge as nat designed so that it may be adopted as a whole or in ural allies; some old hands will be glad to work with a part. Either way, the goal remains to reduce the inci - new partner in the dog bite prevention field, and some dence of dog bites within communities and improve will actively welcome a new focal point for dog bite quality of life for their citizens. prevention activity. Learning about various entities and their interest and involvement in dog bite control can Multidisciplinary and help answer questions in the following areas. Multiprofessional Groups It is unlikely that a dog bite prevention program —Organizations, agencies, Community resources will begin in a complete vacuum. Typically, some for - - businesses, and individuals offering training, assis mal program is already in place under the auspices of - tance, consulting, library or computer search capabili animal control, the health department, or local law kind contributions, volunteer help, or supple - ties, in - enforcement. Efforts may also be under way by other mental funding must be identified. groups such as educators or dog breeders. It makes Currently available data —Before launching a sense to identify related activities to determine what - major effort to collect dog bite data, it is wise to deter needs are not being met, find likely sources of support mine whether an assessment has already been done. or resistance, and avoid duplication of effort and c Ask about reports related to injuries and costs from Appendix 1 ). potential turf battles ( - dog bites, surveys that include dog bite or dog owner ship information, opinion surveys or other studies Identify dog bite issues in the community describing community perceptions about the need for - Each community has a unique set of dog bite-relat dog bite prevention, and similar information. If possi - ed problems and its own approaches to confronting ble, find out what happened to existing assessments them. A central task is to identify these particular and related recommendations. Knowing the history of issues. The project begins by assessing the political previous evaluation and prevention efforts will help in landscape regarding dog bites and dog bite prevention. development of a new program. If an assessment has Before launching a program, it is useful to pinpoint the been done, determine whether methods and conclu - degree of current and potential support among corpo - sions are sound. rate and community leaders as well as legislators and senior staff in the dog bite prevention program’s spon - - Legislation —It is important to know what inter soring agency. ventions (eg, leash laws, “dangerous” dog ordinances) have been previously introduced and their history of —Crafting a program is eas - Recognize hot buttons success. Individuals involved in these efforts may be ier if the objectives mesh with a highly visible commu - valuable allies in new programs. In addition, current nity issue. For example, there may be public outcry ordinances should be evaluated to determine whether - about dog waste or a publicized dog attack. Such a sit enforcement or revision could increase their effective - uation may provide impetus for a campaign to support ness. licensing and leash laws or ordinances pertaining to reporting dog bites. When community groups and the —Ownership of particular dog bite issues Barriers media have already invested in finding a solution to the - and potential turf battles should be confronted realisti dog bite problem, program organizers can dovetail their cally. In addition, it must be acknowledged that a dog efforts and work collaboratively with these groups. bite prevention program may attract opposition from - —Knowing the degree of sup Community interest groups on philosophical grounds (eg, groups that port that exists for a prevention program is important. strongly support personal freedom argue that the gov - Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 1734

4 ernment should not mandate licensing of dogs). Clubs will improve the dynamics. For example, groups could coalesce around data issues, legislation and policy, and for specific breeds may not be supportive if they fear their breed will be singled out in a negative way. - so on. Involving participants from the start in mean ingful tasks will underscore that this is a productive Barriers can be overcome by a fresh approach to old group. In addition, people are more likely to support a problems or by agreeing to carve out areas of responsi - program they participated in creating, because they bility among interested groups. Typically, there are have a sense of ownership. many more problems than there are organizations to tackle them, so it makes sense to avoid attacking simi - - Because each community’s needs and priorities dif fer, the advisory council’s major tasks will vary. The lar issues. advisory council or one of its working groups may con - sider the following activities: Develop an advisory council - Obtaining community input can be as sophisticat coordinating efforts among participating organiza ? - tions ed as conducting public opinion surveys or holding ? focus groups to learn about what the community sees developing an action plan ? establishing dog bite prevention priorities as pressing dog bite issues. More likely, there will be limited funds at the outset of the program, so more generating public and legislative support for dog ? informal but also potentially valuable approaches may bite control be required. These include meetings with potential ? identifying dog bite reporting sources ? partners and interested groups to learn about their interpreting data constituencies’ concerns. This type of informal inter identifying and obtaining resources for program ? - activities (educational, financial, staffing) view can be a great help in uncovering key dog-related issues as perceived by the community. Talking with providing technical expertise for the program ? people in neighborhoods most affected by dog bite recommending goals and objectives for prevention ? - problems is important. For example, if there is a prob income neighborhoods, - It is recommended that the program be overseen lem with dog bites in low obtaining the views of people living there can help by a paid coordinator. The program coordinator and identify the nature of the problem and potential solu other staff involved can contribute to the advisory - council’s success by good meeting planning and prepa tions. - ration, regular communication with members, working that represents a An advisory council or task force - with the advisory council chairperson to set the agen wide spectrum of community concerns and perspec - tives creates a source of support for program initiatives. da, and helping to solve problems that threaten to derail the process. As with any volunteer effort, a dog - Advisory groups provide guidance for a dog bite pre - - prior bite prevention advisory council is likely to thrive if vention program and may focus on specific high - the coordinator nurtures its members with regular ity dog bite issues. Although organizing and maintain - intensive, it can sub - ing an advisory council is labor expressions of appreciation. stantially benefit the program. Members may be able to provide access to useful information that is not other - Infrastructure wise easy for the coordinator to obtain. Members can A coordinated effort is essential for success in any also identify ways in which the program can work with venture, and each individual or organization involved appropriate voluntary organizations and associations. must have a clear sense of their/its responsibilities. People with experience in dog bite control can offer - Reducing the incidence of dog bites requires the coop - perspective about the program and help identify poten - eration of many groups, including animal control agen tial pitfalls as well as successful strategies. Participation cies, the human and veterinary medical communities, by members representing community organizations - educators, departments of health, and the local licens builds a sense of ownership in the dog bite prevention ing authority. Open and consistent communication is program. an integral part of an effective program, and one entity Logistics in starting an advisory council include - should be designated as the coordinating agency. A log identifying organizations and individuals that should ical coordinating agency would be the health depart - participate (Appendix 1), determining the size of the ment or animal control. In addition, it is imperative council, establishing a structure and operating proce - that an appropriate agency be granted authority to - dures for the council and its regular meetings, assign conduct investigations and make recommendations. ing staff support, determining the relationship between the staff and the council, and reaching an agreement Program coordinator about key tasks. When community members and gov - As previously mentioned, dog bite prevention ernment officials work together to support the creation efforts should be assisted by a paid staff person. Because and development of a local task force, it enhances the the diversity of input is so great, it is recommended that group’s visibility and impact. the office of the advisory council’s program coordinator be located within the municipality’s coordinating To foster an involved and active advisory council, agency. Individuals, agencies, or organizations that professionals agree that several criteria must be met. come into contact with or are aware of a “dangerous” The number of participants should be kept manage - dog or risky situation should provide this information able; 10 to 12 is a size that works well. If it is necessary to the coordinator. The coordinator should then relay to have more members for political reasons, breaking all information to the proper recipients. the group into smaller committees or working groups JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1735

5 Animal control agencies become lost. Licensing also ensures rabies vaccinations - Animal control officers are the frontline in con are current, allows quick identification in case of a bite incident, and provides revenue to help offset the costs trolling animal bites. A well-resourced animal control - of administering the animal control program. An effec agency is vital for public health and safety within any tive program can be a source of reliable demographic community. In some communities, animal control is a data as well. stand-alone agency. In others it is administered through the local city or county health director or is a Vaccinations —Rabies vaccinations are normally a subsidiary of the local police department or sheriff’s prerequisite for licensing dogs and cats, because they - office. Wherever located, the functions of animal con are an important control measure for a major public trol within communities are multiple, including: health concern. In addition to protecting pets, rabies ? training of animal control officers and ancillary vaccinations provide a barrier between infected wild personnel - animals and humans. Vaccination has reduced con ? licensing of dogs and cats firmed cases of rabies in dogs from 6,949 in 1947 to ? - enforcement of leash laws, ordinances, regula 19 126 in 1997. tions, and statutes control of unrestrained and free-roaming animal ? Concerns about “dangerous” Breed or type bans— populations dogs have caused many local governments to consider ? investigation of animal bite-related incidents supplementing existing animal control laws with ordi - ? administration of rabies quarantine programs after nances directed toward control of specific breeds or an animal bites types of dogs. Members of the Task Force believe such ? bite data management, analysis, and dissemination ordinances are inappropriate and ineffective. regulation of “dangerous” animals Statistics on fatalities and injuries caused by dogs educational outreach within the community ? - cannot be responsibly used to document the “danger regarding responsible ownership, spay/neuter pro - ousness” of a particular breed, relative to other breeds, grams, control of “dangerous” animals, rabies vac - for several reasons. First, a dog’s tendency to bite cinations depends on at least 5 interacting factors: heredity, early ? coordination of efforts experience, later socialization and training, health 7 (medical and behavioral), and victim behavior. Larger communities often possess more resources Second, there is no reliable way to identify the number to properly fund animal control agencies and provide of dogs of a particular breed in the canine population 17 adequate staff and training; however, smaller animal at any given time (eg, 10 attacks by Doberman control programs can also be effective, even when they Pinschers relative to a total population of 10 dogs operate on a limited budget. Dedicated personnel can implies a different risk than 10 attacks by Labrador accomplish much if they have community support, Retrievers relative to a population of 1,000 dogs). including support from law enforcement and the judi - Third, statistics may be skewed, because often they do ciary. - not consider multiple incidents caused by a single ani mal. Fourth, breed is often identified by individuals Preventive measures who are not familiar with breed characteristics and Preventive measures are designed to minimize risk who commonly identify dogs of mixed ancestry as if and should be addressed by all communities. they were purebreds. Fifth, the popularity of breeds changes over time, making comparison of breed-spe - - Control of unrestrained and free-roaming ani cific bite rates unreliable. mals —Reasonable and enforceable laws or ordinances Breed-specific ordinances imply that there is an are required for good control of unrestrained or free- - objective method of determining the breed of a partic 18 Laws written to roaming animals ( Appendix 2 ). ular dog, when in fact, there is not at this time. Owners - ensure that owned animals are confined to their prop of mixed-breed dogs or dogs that have not been regis - erty or kept on a leash make freeing a community of tered with a national kennel club have no way of unrestrained and free-roaming animals easier. Although knowing whether their dog is one of the types identi - most dog bites occur on the property where the dog fied and whether they are required to comply with a lives, unrestrained or free-roaming dogs do pose a sub - breed-specific ordinance. In addition, law enforcement stantial threat to the public. Enforcement of restraint - personnel typically have no scientific means for deter laws is, therefore, essential if the incidence of dog bites mining a dog’s breed that can withstand the rigors of is to be reduced. It is important to protect animal own - legal challenge, nor do they have a foolproof method ers by providing an adequate amount of time for them for deciding whether owners are in compliance or in to claim animals that have been impounded. Because of violation of laws. Such laws assume that all dogs of a economic constraints, the current standard in the certain breed are likely to bite, instead of acknowledg - industry is 3 working days; however, 5 days may be ing that most dogs are not a problem. These laws often more reasonable to ensure successful owner-animal fail to take normal dog behavior into account and may reunions. Control of unrestrained and free-roaming ani - not assign appropriate responsibilities to owners. mal populations requires an adequately staffed, trained, Some municipalities have attempted to address and funded animal control agency. notice and enforcement problems created by unregis - - The primary benefit of licens Licensing of dogs— - tered and mixed-breed dogs by including in the ordi ing animals is identification, should that animal - nance a description of the breed at which the ordi Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 1736

6 nance is directed. Unfortunately, such descriptions are undergo a physical examination. In addition, interim usually vague, rely on subjective visual observation, evaluations are highly recommended. and result in many more dogs than those of the intend - A dog that is not currently vaccinated against rabies - ed breed being subject to the restrictions of the ordi and that bites a human should be considered a rabies nance. suspect and be appropriately quarantined. Contact with the dog during the quarantine period should be strictly Animal control legislation has traditionally been - considered a constitutionally legitimate exercise of limited to individuals who have completed rabies pro local government power to protect public safety and phylaxis and are up-to-date on serologic testing and booster vaccinations. Physical examinations should be - welfare. Breed-specific ordinances, however, raise con conducted at the beginning and end of the quarantine stitutional questions concerning dog owners’ four - - period to determine the dog’s health status. teenth amendment rights of due process and equal pro 20 When a specific breed of dog is selected for tection. Quarantined dogs may be treated by a veterinarian, but control, 2 constitutional questions are raised: first, rabies vaccines should not be administered to the dog until the quarantine period is complete. If at any time because all types of dogs may inflict injury to people during the quarantine period the dog has signs of ill and property, ordinances addressing only 1 breed of - ness compatible with rabies, it should be humanely dog appear to be underinclusive and, therefore, violate euthanatized and samples submitted for rabies testing. owners’ equal protection rights; and second, because identification of a dog’s breed with the certainty neces - Records of all bites must be kept, including infor - - sary to impose sanctions on the dog’s owner is impos mation specifically identifying the dog and owner. - sible, such ordinances have been considered unconsti These should be crosschecked with each incident for tutionally vague and, therefore, to violate due process. evidence of a chronic problem. Identification and regulation of “dangerous” After a bite occurs dogs —Certain dogs may be identified within a com - - It is important to have a well-defined postbite pro munity as being “dangerous,” usually as the result of a gram in place to minimize physical and emotional pain serious injury or threat. That classification, because it for dog bite victims. This allows animal control per - carries with it serious implications, should be well - sonnel to work efficiently, protects animals that are vic ). Any such definition Appendix 4 defined by law ( tims of false allegations, and provides the judiciary should include an exclusion for justifiable actions of with reasonable alternatives that address a variety of dogs. Procedures should be outlined that take into situations. State laws may dictate parts of this process. - account the potential public health threat, are reason Investigation of animal bite-related incidents— able to enforce, and convey the seriousness of the situ - Any animal bite or incident must be thoroughly inves - ation to the owner. Although animal control officers or - tigated and substantiated by an agent of the empow - their statuary counterparts are responsible for collect ered investigating authority such as an animal control ing information, a judge or justice will hear evidence - officer, police officer, or peace officer. Ideally, the inves from animal control officers and the dog’s owner to tigating authority should be the same authority that determine whether that dog fits established criteria for enforces related ordinances or laws to give continuity “dangerousness.” In some municipalities, a hearing and credibility to all investigations. Investigating offi - panel comprising a cross section of private citizens cers must be given authority to perform their duties by hears alleged “dangerous” dog evidence and has been statute or ordinance. Clear, concise, standardized given the authority to declare a dog “dangerous” if information concerning the incident must be obtained deemed appropriate. Any declaration by a hearing to ensure its successful resolution and facilitate long- panel, judge, or justice is subject to judicial review. ). Appendix 3 term data collection ( A judge, justice, or hearing panel may promulgate orders directing an animal control officer to seize and —A healthy Postbite rabies quarantine programs hold an alleged “dangerous” dog pending judicial dog that is currently vaccinated against rabies and that review. If a dog is determined to be “dangerous” by a bites a human should be examined by a licensed vet - judge, justice, or hearing panel, the owner of that dog erinarian to determine its health status. If no signs of - is usually required to register the dog with the appro illness compatible with rabies are detected, the dog priate health department or animal control facility. The should be quarantined. The Centers for Disease judicial process may also require the owner to follow Control and Prevention has set the quarantine period other rigid requirements, including but not limited to for dogs, cats, and ferrets at 10 days, including the day permanent identification of offending dogs, training of the bite. Vaccinated dogs can be allocated to 2 cate - and assessment of dogs and owners, and having gories: those that have bitten a member of the immedi - offending dogs spayed or neutered. ate family and those that have bitten an individual out - side the immediate family. Home quarantine can be Because the judicial branch is such an integral part - considered for vaccinated dogs that have bitten a mem of any enforcement action, the judiciary must assist ber of the immediate family, assuming the owner can during formulation of “dangerous” dog laws. If the confine the dog in a manner that prevents further judiciary is involved, its members will be aware of the exposure. Vaccinated dogs that have bitten a human - process that must be followed to declare a dog “dan outside of the immediate family generally should be gerous.” In addition, they will be aware of steps that quarantined at the local shelter or veterinarian’s office. have already been completed and the options available At the end of the quarantine period, the dog should when a particular case reaches the courts. JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1737

7 should consider possible secondary sources of data. Bite Data Reporting These may include: Accurate and complete reporting of dog bites is an ? anonymous surveys of high-risk populations (eg, essential element of a bite prevention program. These school-age children) that may clarify the true reports are vital not only for case management and extent of risk in a community judicial review but for planning, implementing, and - anonymous surveys of the public (eg, phone sur ? evaluating the status of the problem. Major goals of veys) that can help document the extent of bite comprehensive dog bite data reporting include: injuries and provide a basis for estimating the ratio - ? accurately defining victim demographics to identi of unreported to reported bites fy populations at greatest risk for bites and allow ? reports from professionals including veterinarians, targeting of educational efforts animal behaviorists, dog trainers, groomers, and defining dog and owner characteristics associated ? kennel operators who are informed of a bite incident with higher risk so that an actuarial approach to (mandating that any or all of these professions report the dog bite problem is possible (this facilitates bites may be unrealistic given the potential legal effective program planning and proper targeting of consequences of identifying an animal as a biter) control measures) ? defining high risk geographic areas at city, county, Reporting mandates are often inconsistent or neighborhood levels so that limited resources between jurisdictions or are poorly enforced. Current for animal control and public education can be local and state reporting regulations should be appropriately deployed reviewed, as should directives from health or veteri - establishing baseline data so that the impact of ? nary officials. If current provisions are adequate, it may specific elements of the bite prevention program be necessary to implement procedures to reeducate can be assessed professionals concerning their reporting obligations - providing an accurate, detailed, unbiased, objec ? and periodically remind them of these obligations. tive source of information for decision makers, When a failure to report is uncovered, it may be an media, and the public interested in the dog bite opportunity to gain the attention of the professional, problem and its prevention because sanctions may be imposed. providing critical information for proper manage ? - ment of dog bite cases Who should receive reports? What should be reported? Reporting should be coordinated by one agency. At a minimum, a dog bite case should be defined Logical agencies to coordinate reports include animal as any medically-attended dog bite or any dog bite control or the public health department. The coordi - resulting in a report to an animal control or law nating agency, perhaps through the dog bite prevention enforcement agency. This would presumably cover program coordinator, must assume responsibility for those instances consuming public resources and would maintaining all information and disseminating that also include cases that may result in litigation. - information to other appropriate individuals or agen A number of data elements should be captured on cies (eg, veterinarians, physicians, the dog owner, and a report form such that it is comprehensive in scope those involved in follow-up educational efforts). without placing unnecessary burdens on reporting To insure consistency and compliance, regulations agencies (Appendix 3). Fatal and severe dog attacks on or procedures should unambiguously state to whom humans have been associated with prior or concurrent reports should be submitted and within what time attacks on pets or livestock, so it is important that frame the reports should be submitted. communities also track those incidents. Maintaining records of incidents of menacing behaviors of owned - Data management, analysis, interpretation, and dis dogs running at large in the community may be found semination useful in later legal actions. Because multiple sources may report the same - case, procedures should be in place to permit combi Who should report? nation of data from multiple sources into a single The goal is to report any medically treated dog report. Avenues should be developed for electronic bite or any bite resulting in a report to, or response submission of reports to assist in rapid response, to from, an animal control agency, humane society with streamline reporting to higher levels of government, animal control responsibilities, or law enforcement and to facilitate data analysis. Whereas disposition of agency. Therefore, the primary sources of data should individual incidents is the first goal for reporting, there be: is much to be learned from looking at the overall pic - animal control or law enforcement agencies ? ture. Keeping information in an electronic database responding to a dog bite complaint simplifies the latter. health professionals attending to a bite injury ? Data should be reviewed at regular intervals (no (hospital emergency staff, urgent care facility staff, less than yearly) to determine whether the incidence private physicians, school or camp medical staff, and severity of dog bites is getting better, worse, or medical staff of other entities such as military staying the same. Basic analysis consists of studying bases or reservations, and veterinarians) the characteristics of incidents, including: Recognizing that many dog bites go unreported, a ? time—yearly trends, peak months, day of week, comprehensive program to assess dog bite incidence time of day. This can help with scheduling animal 1738 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

8 control services as well as dispatch and response - tee, but all should be encouraged to be a part of a com planning. munity’s efforts to decrease the impact of a dog bite ? place—locating every incident on a map with a problem. pin. Are there hot spots? This can help target high Many professions mentioned in this document are risk areas for future control. science-based. This means their members are used to ? person—victims and animal owners: age, sex, making decisions on the basis of peer-reviewed data- race, size. Can they be targeted for education? supported information rather than gut feelings. This dog—proportion of offenders by sex and breed, ? - approach to decision making results in improved out proportion running at large, proportion neutered, comes. Because the dog bite problem impacts so many proportion with prior reported problems, history different groups, networking between community of rabies vaccinations, licensing history. Have leaders and professionals is important. The following these proportions changed over time? sections describe ways that various professionals and - community leaders can work together toward a com Successful evaluation and resolution of a commu - mon goal. nity problem and accurate assimilation, evaluation, Veterinarians— Veterinarians are scientists trained and use of quality data requires interactive assessment, for a minimum of 7 to 8 years and then licensed to feedback, and information exchange. City, county, and diagnose and treat animal problems both medical and state public health practitioners, epidemiologists, and - behavioral. Although most people think of veterinari representatives of public health organizations (eg, the ans as performing animal vaccinations and surgical National Association of State Public Health neutering, the practice of veterinary medicine includes Veterinarians, the Council of State and Territorial all subdisciplines typically associated with human Epidemiologists, the Association of State and medicine. The study of animal behavior both normal Territorial Health Officers, and the National and abnormal has become more important within the Association of County and City Health Officials) can profession as animals have become more important to provide communities with considerable expertise in their owners. Dogs are now four-legged members of the acquisition and interpretation of dog bite data. the family, rather than farm animals that help bring Their participation should be encouraged. cows into the barn at milking time. With this change in the dog’s role have come unrealistic owner expecta - Education tions about what constitutes normal behavior for a Education is key to reducing dog bites within a dog. Veterinarians can educate dog owners as to what community. The list of those to be educated and those behavior is normal, can help dog owners teach their who may educate includes everyone who regularly dogs to respond appropriately in various environments - comes into contact with dog owners and potential vic and provide referrals to reputable dog trainers, and can tims (eg, veterinarians, veterinary technicians and assist owners with behavioral problems, including assistants, animal control officers, animal behaviorists, those that have a medical basis or are responsive to dog trainers, humane society personnel, physicians, medication. school nurses, public health officials, teachers, and parents). Until recently, animal behavior was not often The purposes of this section are to educate city taught in veterinary curricula. Many veterinarians have officials and community leaders about the role of vari - had to acquire their knowledge of normal and abnor - ous professionals in an educational program to reduce - mal canine behavior from continuing education pro dog bites, provide starting references to ensure a core - grams and professional textbooks. For this reason, dif of knowledge for those professionals ( Appendix 5 ), - ferent veterinarians have different degrees of knowl and assist in identification of the educational needs of edge about behavior. All veterinarians, however, have various constituencies within a community. access to board-certified veterinary behaviorists for help with behavioral problems beyond their expertise. Public officials and community leaders Although the time, physical, and emotional Public officials and community leaders are the demands of veterinary practice can be overwhelming people to whom residents look for assistance with - and leave limited time to devote to a formal communi social problems. Their influence is important and well ty prevention program, veterinarians can substantially recognized. If a community dog bite prevention pro - impact prevention efforts through their professional gram is to gain public acceptance and be effective, contact with prospective and current dog owners. This community leaders must be well-informed about dog- contact should begin before the pet is acquired. related issues within their community and in general. Providing unbiased information on pet selection can help prevent inappropriate owner-dog pairings. Prospective dog owners often make spur-of-the- Professionals moment selections that are based on warm-and-fuzzy Professionals from many backgrounds need to be feelings and unrealistic expectations. Encouraging involved in bite prevention programs. Their expertise prospective dog owners to seek information from their is essential to making realistic decisions about what veterinarian about the characteristics and needs of var - should and can be done to prevent or follow up on dog ious types of pets and encouraging future dog owners bite incidents and in recognizing what is normal or to ask for guarantees from puppy providers can mini - - abnormal behavior for a dog. Several of these profes mize future problems. When owners take their newly sionals will likely be members of the advisory commit - JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1739

9 acquired dogs to their veterinarian for an initial exam essential for veterinary technicians, just as it is for their - - employers. Maintaining a clinic reference library of ination and immunizations, the veterinarian has a sec - appropriate print, audio, and video material for rein ond opportunity to provide these owners with good 21 Finally, forcement and enrichment and for client education is medical, nutritional, and behavioral advice. useful. veterinarians can educate owners during their dogs’ routine examinations (asking appropriate questions Behavioral education for veterinary technicians relative to dog bite prevention should include recogni can reveal problems an owner may not have recog - - nized) or when their dogs are evaluated for specific - tion of classic canine behavioral displays and an under standing of the basic types of canine aggression and problems. their prevention. The aim is to assist technicians in Board-certified veterinary behaviorists — The conveying dog bite prevention information to owners. American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB), Veterinary technicians must not be placed in the role of an American Veterinary Medical Association-recog - diagnosing or treating canine aggression. - nized veterinary specialty organization, certifies gradu —There are a number of sci ate veterinarians in the specialty of veterinary behavior. Animal behaviorists - entists with PhD degrees in academic fields related to To become certified, a veterinarian must have extensive animal behavior who can serve as valuable resources postgraduate training, sufficient experience, and pass a for communities attempting to reduce dog bite credential review and examination set by the ACVB. injuries. Because of their science-based backgrounds, Diplomates of this organization work with problem they can be particularly helpful in setting up protocols animals by referral from the animal’s regular veterinar - - to determine the extent of the problem within a com ian, consult with practitioners on cases, and give con - munity and whether ongoing programs are having a tinuing education seminars on animal behavior. substantial impact. Although many communities may not have the benefit - of a resident board-certified veterinary behaviorist, vet As a note of caution, the terms animal behaviorist or animal psychologist are often used by individuals erinarians have access to and may consult with their who do not have strong scientific backgrounds but specialist colleagues when necessary. who want to work with problem dogs. There is no —Veterinary technicians Veterinary technicians method to evaluate the competence of these individu - are integral members of the veterinary health care team als, and they may be more harmful than helpful to a who have been educated in the care and handling of community’s efforts. animals, basic principles of normal and abnormal life - processes, and routine laboratory and clinical proce - —This is a diverse group of individu Dog trainers - dures. They perform many of the same tasks for veteri als with no uniformly recognized credentialing body or narians that nurses and others perform for physicians. measures of competence. Although there are many Veterinary technicians are often frontline people when - good dog trainers, there are also trainers that use inap it comes to educating pet owners, particularly in gen - propriate methods of behavioral modification that can eral veterinary practices; they greet clients and answer negatively affect a dog’s behavior, making the dog more initial inquiries, clarify instructions, provide clients dangerous to the owner and the community. It is with appropriate print, audio, and video educational important that communities make a concerted effort to material, and answer questions. Certainly, they are an work with responsible trainers who interact closely important part of the educational team when it comes - with veterinarians and PhD-degreed animal behavior to dog bite prevention. - ists. A qualified responsible dog trainer can be a valu Like veterinarians, veterinary technicians have able asset to a community advisory group. several opportunities to educate clients. Veterinarians Obedience training by itself does not prevent the 22 may be consulted prior to owners acquiring a new pet, and animals that development of behavior problems, - and veterinary technicians can help provide informa are sent to a training facility may not learn how to obey - tion on appropriate pet selection. Veterinary techni their owners, because the owners do not learn how to cians regularly counsel owners during new puppy give commands. For problem animals, training is only appointments, and this is a particularly good opportu - part of the solution. nity to provide owners with information on bite pre - vention, including the importance of socialization and —With a dog residing in 1 Physicians and nurses training. Routine physical examinations are times of every 3 US homes and approximately 53 million 2,3,6 - when veterinary technicians can reinforce the impor dogs in the United States, exposure of the physician tance of these early lessons and training, and they can or nurse, their family members, or their patients to help veterinarians identify potential aggression prob - dogs during the course of daily life is inevitable. Dogs lems through observation and dialog with owners. have become important members of many families, Veterinary technicians can also be tapped to educate and the presence of a pet in the home can affect an nonpet-owning children and adults through school or individual’s own decisions about care. Most physicians other programs. are familiar with at least 1 example of a person refus - Veterinary technology programs do not always ing hospitalization, because there was no one else in offer curricula in animal behavior and, consequently, the home to care for their pet. many technicians do not have formal training in this Because 334,000 Americans are seen in emergency area when they enter practice. Continuing education departments for dog bite injuries each year, 466,000 that includes basic principles of animal behavior is are seen in other medical practice settings, and 6,000 1740 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

10 6 issues. Dogs causing severe injuries may be brought to are hospitalized, it behooves human healthcare humane facilities for rabies quarantine or euthanasia. providers to acquaint themselves with community and Dogs that have threatened to bite or that have nipped personal strategies to prevent dog bites. Furthermore, may be surrendered to shelters or rescue groups, some - just as occurrences of infectious diseases such as 16 times without full acknowledgment by their owners. measles are reported to enable investigation of out - Shelter personnel are forced to decide which dogs can breaks and development of control measures to protect be placed in new homes and which are not suitable for the public, dog bites must be reported so that cause - adoption. Progressive organizations work with veteri and prevention can be addressed. Communities differ narians and animal control officers to educate their in their requirements for reporting, and practitioners staff about safe dog handling and objective evaluation must understand what is required in their area. techniques. Record keeping and follow-up studies - Traditionally, when confronted with patients seek expand their knowledge base about what works in - ing care for dog bites, physicians and nurses have con their community and what does not. Well-trained and fined their roles to providing medical treatment. With dedicated humane society/animal shelter/rescue group the expanding roles of physicians and nurses, however, personnel can be valuable community resources for disease prevention has become an important issue. In public education as well. addition to competently treating dog bites and their complications, healthcare providers need to be aware Public of critical roles they can play in reducing dog bite Public education is critical to the success of any injuries. dog bite prevention program, because half of all bites Advising patients about safe behaviors appears 27 23-26 are inflicted by the family dog. Only about 10% of effective in preventing injury. Teaching children, 7,15 bites are inflicted by dogs unknown to the victim. A parents, and patients who own dogs about proper - public education effort must target a variety of individ behavior around dogs and responsible dog ownership uals and age groups, and one individual should be - is advisable given the frequency of human-canine con assigned to integrate its components. If a special advi - - tact in our society. Physicians can recommend contact - sory council or task force is convened, its paid coordi ing a veterinarian for pet selection information and - nator would be a logical choice to coordinate the pub advice if an individual or family is considering dog lic education effort. Alternatively, the public education ownership, and for information about canine behavior coordinator could be a member of a municipal group and obedience training if a dog is already part of the such as the local health department, animal control family. Pediatricians provide age-appropriate injury 26 - agency, or board of education, or a member of a stake Dog prevention counseling during wellness visits. holder group such as a humane society or veterinary bite prevention should be a part of this counseling. association. Many educational programs targeted at - Dog safety tips can also be included in packets of mate various audiences exist and are included in the dog bite rials routinely sent home with new mothers. prevention resource list found on the American When a patient is being treated for a bite, an Veterinary Medical Association Web site opportunity exists to prevent future injury by teaching (www.avma.org). As new materials become available, bite-avoidance strategies. Probing into the circum - they will be added to this resource list. stances of the current bite may reveal which strategies should be emphasized. Taking advantage of teachable —Children are the most common victims Children moments should be considered part of curative care. of serious dog bites. Seventy percent of fatal dog Consulting with a veterinarian may help human health attacks and more than half of bite wounds requiring care providers identify subjects they can address dur - 7,9,15 In addition, medical attention involve children. ing postbite sessions. almost half of all children are bitten before 18 years of As witnesses to the health-related outcomes of dog 27,28 The most vulnerable youngsters are 5- to 9- age. bites, physicians and nurses are particularly credible 6,7,8 year-old boys, but smaller children can also be seri - - sources of information and can be effective spokesper 29 ously injured. Dog bite injuries rank third only to sons. Pediatricians and nurses should be full partners bicycle and baseball/softball injuries as a leading cause in community efforts to reduce dog bite injuries. 6 of emergency admission of children to hospitals. Children’s natural behaviors, including running, Animal control personnel —The staff of a well- - yelling, grabbing, hitting, quick and darting move resourced animal control program often includes an ments, and maintaining eye contact, put them at risk education coordinator who can train teachers, school for dog bite injuries. Proximity of a child’s face to the nurses, and volunteers to become dog bite prevention dog also increases the likelihood that facial injuries - educators within the community’s school system (sim 6,7,29-31 will occur. ilar to volunteers in the McGruff crime prevention pro - - gram presented to primary-school children). For ani —The first step in a child education Target group mal control personnel, job-related continuing educa - effort is determining what population of children to tion is important. Programs are available through the target and when. The logical primary audience is those National Animal Control Association. at greatest risk: children in grades kindergarten Humane society/animal shelter/rescue group per - through 4. Late winter or early spring appears to be the best time to institute a campaign, because the sonnel —Dog bite injuries have negative repercussions for dogs as well as people, and humane society/animal school year is concluding and, as children spend more 32 time outside, exposure risk increases. It is critical shelter/rescue group personnel must deal with these JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1741

11 Identifying instructors that school administrators buy into the concept of a —Materials can be developed or selected by animal control personnel, veterinarians, dog bite prevention program; therefore, requests to the veterinary technicians, or other people knowledgeable school district must be made by committed convinc - about dog behavior. Information can be distributed ing well-organized individuals. Because school curric - through a number of channels such as those identified ula are crowded, time blocks for dog bite prevention above. education should be requested early within the school system’s calendar year. If such a block of time is not —As people age, they become more The elderly available, an alternative is to have a veterinarian or susceptible to injury and disease. Thinning skin physician present a 1-hour lecture or assembly pro - - increases risk of bruising, and a bite producing a sim - gram to the entire student body. Once dog bite pre ple puncture wound in a younger individual can cause vention education has been included within the cur - a severe laceration in a senior citizen. Sensory percep - riculum (or has been scheduled to be provided tion decreases so that an elderly person may not see a through a special lecture or assembly program), teach - threatening dog or may not be able to read its behav - ers, nurses, and volunteers should consider addressing ioral signals accurately. In addition, diminished motor - the school’s parent-teacher organization to inform par skills mean that the elderly are less able to physically ents of upcoming dog bite prevention training for protect themselves or escape. their children. Another concern for the elderly is that their - Secondary efforts beloved pet may not be trustworthy around their —Secondary targets include chil grandchildren. Dogs not raised around small children dren in other settings, such as early education pro - - grams (eg, Head Start, day care centers, recreational or not frequently exposed to them may not be social 1 ized toward them. This increases the likelihood of centers, and camps). - aggressive behavior being directed toward these chil Identifying instructors —Who teaches the material dren. will depend on expertise within the community. For An educational program for senior citizens can be classroom instruction, teachers who have had in-ser - implemented in various settings. Materials may be pro - vice training, school nursing staff, health educators, or vided through community services for the elderly such trained volunteers are logical choices. Stakeholder as church groups, visiting nurse programs, meals-on- - groups (eg, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, ani wheels, recreational centers, or travel groups. - mal control officers, physicians, nurses, humane soci Secondary targets are shopping malls and the media. ety staff) may provide a ready source of volunteers for - Trained volunteers, especially from dog-associated pro classroom instruction and special programs. fessions, are logical sources of information. Human healthcare professionals can be an important source of Adults —Adult citizens must understand the need information for the elderly because of the frequency of for and support a strong dog bite prevention program their interactions. not only for their own safety but for the safety of oth - ers in their community. It is this understanding that Primary targets are grandparents Target group— gives a prevention program long-term stability. All and people aged 60 years or older who have dogs in adults should learn appropriate behaviors around dogs their homes. so that they can protect themselves, teach their own children, serve as an example for others, and reinforce Secondary efforts— Secondary targets include other appropriate behaviors in other children at every oppor - individuals who are at least 60 years old. tunity. Adults also serve as local eyes for animal control Identifying instructors —Physicians can interact so that roaming dogs are controlled. with these people during clinic visits. Animal control - Educational materials sent home with school chil personnel, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and dren, distributed by pediatricians during well-child people knowledgeable about dog behavior can select or visits, inserted in public utility bills, and produced by produce resource information. an enlightened local media are all reasonable approach - es. Involving representatives of service organizations —People who own dogs have a Animal owners and community groups during a prevention program’s wide variety of views about their responsibilities. For - planning and active stages will strengthen commit some, dog care means providing food and water when ment. the thought occurs to them. At the other end of this Active adults (eg, joggers, bicyclists, golfers) spectrum is the person who actively makes sure the pet whose outdoor activities provide greater exposure to is appropriately fed, well-trained, licensed, and healthy. - dogs are most at risk for injury. To reach these individ Some individuals view dogs as disposable items that uals, bite prevention information should be provided can be abandoned at any sign of trouble or expense. to local interest groups, recreational facilities, and Once a community establishes acceptable standards for health clubs. responsible ownership, dog owners must be informed of these expectations and related ordinances, and rules Primary adult targets within the Target group— must be enforced. Owners and future owners must be community are those who have children and who are educated about their unique set of responsibilities, active in outdoor activities. which include appropriate pet selection, providing - quality nutrition, housing, and medical care, compli Secondary efforts— Secondary targets include indi - ance with confinement and licensing requirements, viduals between the ages of 21 and 65 years. 1742 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

12 appropriate behavioral training, and supervision of —Individuals who have recently been Target group bitten by a dog seriously enough to require medical interactions between dogs and children. Citizens must - attention but not so seriously as to have sustained understand that pet ownership is an ongoing responsi bility, not a passive activity. severe injuries are the primary target. Dog owners can be provided with information Secondary efforts— Secondary targets are individu - through various avenues. Veterinarians and their staff als who have been bitten by a dog in the past. are logical educators and distributors. Local dog clubs and trainers provide services to more conscientious Identifying instructors —Medical professionals and owners. Businesses that sell pet foods and supplies animal control personnel are the individuals who should also be encouraged to provide bite prevention encounter this group. materials to their customers. Information can be dis - Businesses —Community businesses need to - tributed with utility bills, and animal shelters can pro address dog bite prevention as well. Certain businesses vide classes for people who are considering acquiring a (eg, veterinary clinics, grooming and boarding facili - - pet. Incentives for attendance at bite prevention class ties, animal control, pet sitting agencies) revolve es could include reduced fees for licenses and coupons around direct contact with dogs, and employee educa - for vaccinations, food, and obedience classes. The most tion is critical from a safety and liability standpoint. difficult group of dog owners to reach is those with Employees of other businesses will occasionally minimal attachment to their pets. Although strong - encounter dogs in the course of their daily job activi enforcement of local regulations will change some ties (eg, utility workers, police officers, parcel carriers, owners into former owners, most will continue to own and emergency medical technicians). Training con - dogs. Therefore, education should be an integral part - ducted by an animal control officer or other knowl of any enforcement program. A good working relation - edgeable professional may provide employees with the ship with the judiciary is critical so that offenders of tools they need to safely handle contacts with at-large animal-related ordinances are required to take courses animals, attack/guard dogs, or dogs who simply reside that emphasize responsible ownership. on the premises of those facilities where they do busi - Target group— Primary targets are adults who ness. already own dogs. Primary targets are employees and Target group— Secondary targets are adults Secondary efforts— business owners who will be working with dogs on a who are considering getting a new dog. daily basis. —Information for this target Identifying instructors —Employees of companies who Secondary efforts audience can come from various sources, and its distri - are likely to encounter dogs in their daily business bution should be approached in a number of ways. activities can be considered secondary targets. - Animal control officers and members of the legal pro —Animal control personnel, Identifying instructors fession can describe what is expected regarding local veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and dog trainers regulations and the serious consequences if these reg - who are experienced at dealing with dogs in a variety ulations are violated. Veterinarians and their staff can - of environments. These individuals will need to cus educate owners about vaccinations, neutering, tomize presentations to the type of situations most restraint, and other health care issues. Dog club mem - likely encountered by the target audiences. bers and trainers can assist by providing socialization and training instruction and can help educate owners Media about being good dog-owning neighbors. The local media play an important role in a com - munity’s efforts at bite prevention. For this reason, it is Victims —When someone becomes a dog bite vic - tim, a teachable moment is created. How useful that suggested that 1 member of the advisory council or task force be a media representative. In addition, the moment becomes in preventing future incidents advisory council can be proactive in helping the media depends tremendously on the seriousness of the bite convey important and appropriate messages. and the fear response of the victim. Scare-producing or threatening events are good times for dog bite preven - Sensational events provide an opportunity to convey important messages. Regular features can reinforce tion information to be conveyed. However, the time surrounding a serious injury is generally too emotion - principles and keep educational efforts flowing. - ally charged to be of value for dog bite prevention edu cation. Know the media Your key to the public eye and ear is a selective up- Who provides information to victims depends, in - part, on who is contacted about the incident. In addi to-date list of local media contacts who have an inter - - tion to medical personnel, animal control’s investiga est in animal issues. Such a list can be developed by tive efforts usually require a home visit. Routine visits undertaking a comprehensive media survey. Check the to a physician should include gathering historical local library for publications that list names, telephone information about the patient’s interactions with dogs numbers, and short descriptions of your community’s media outlets. Call each office or studio to discover to identify patients who would benefit from additional which desks or departments should receive your education. Media stories that reinforce correct approaches to prevention can also touch many when inquiries and press releases. Read local newspapers and they are most receptive. listen to local radio and television news and feature JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1743

13 programs to identify reporters and hosts who address mailing date of the release should be indicated along animal issues. Finding out whether these individuals the right margin. The release should be written in gather their own news or use wire services will allow inverted pyramid style, placing the most important you to target press releases and materials to those who - information at the beginning. Releases should be limit are most likely to use them. Contact local freelance ed to 1 page if possible. writers to see whether they would be willing to feature —Interviews may be conducted by Interviews a bite prevention message in an upcoming piece. Be print, radio, or television reporters or hosts and, in the aware that your media list will be dynamic, and take case of television and radio, may be live or taped. The time to update the names of specific contacts. Once a - individual being interviewed must be an excellent com helpful story is published, or a reporter conveys your municator and intimately familiar with dog bite issues message during a broadcast, be sure to acknowledge - and prevention. The interviewee may request a prein that effort by sending a thank-you note or making an terview to get a grasp of the direction of the interview. appreciative telephone call. It is advisable to tell the interviewer which issues you would definitely like to see addressed. Answers should A spokesperson be structured according to the program’s time limits. The community should identify a spokesperson who has the expertise to address complicated dog bite- Talk shows —Most of the principles that apply to related issues, and this individual should be provided interviews also apply to talk shows, but in this situa - with media training so that he/she becomes an effective tion there usually will be interaction with guests (who communicator with the print and broadcast media. It is often hold opposing views), potentially with an audi - the spokesperson’s responsibility to convey information - ence, and with the host. Running through mock dis clearly, accurately, and promptly. In various situations, cussions prior to participation is helpful. Responses to this individual can identify when there are not enough questions or comments from those with opposing animal control officers to prevent dog packs from form - views should always be factual, sincere, and polite. ing or when a dog has been “sicced” on a person as a —Many stations air 2 or 3 Public affairs programs weapon. A knowledgeable and effective communicator programs a week in which the station’s news staff or can turn a publicized bite into a learning opportunity station management interview a newsmaker, a by providing suggestions on how that bite could have spokesperson from an activist group, or a public rela - - been prevented (eg, the dog was not appropriately con tions representative from an industry. Issues in the trolled or confined, or a child was left unsupervised). news are often addressed by such programming. These provide a good opportunity to make your community Have information readily available aware of bite prevention efforts and to elicit support. The advisory council or task force should create a Access to these programs may be requested by sending 1-page fact sheet for use by the media and the a letter to the station manager. spokesperson. This fact sheet should include the num - ber of dog bite incidents occurring in the community Bulletin board and community announcements— during the past year, the number of dogs in the com - Many local television stations donate air time to - munity, the number of licensed dogs in the communi announcements of community events. These are often ty, what local laws govern dog ownership and control, broadcast in calendar format. This is an easy way to and to whom problems should be reported. A list of publicize educational events and responsible pet own - community resources should also be available. ership classes. Editorials —Editorials are used by print, radio, Ways to effectively convey information and television reporters to present their views on issues Because animal stories are popular with the media, of public interest. Prepared statements describing the - there are numerous opportunities to convey bite pre advisory council’s approach to dog bite prevention can vention information. Local broadcast programs and - be provided to reporters for use in preparing an edito - newspapers find regular segments about animals pop rial or may be provided if a reporter presents an oppos - ular with viewers/listeners/readers, and most of those ing viewpoint. spots have enough time for short lessons. Another approach is to proactively bring animal stories to the —Many radio and Public service announcements media. Examples include a story about a shelter dog public service television stations donate time for that visits nursing homes after being rescued and announcements (PSA) ; however, public service groups appropriately trained, a description of a guide or - cannot specify when your PSA is to be aired. It is accept “hero” dog’s training, or warm-weather tips for pets. able to suggest when you believe airing your PSA will be Effective mechanisms for providing information vary most effective. Most PSAs run for 30 to 60 seconds, with the medium but include: - although 10- and 20-second spots are also used. To mit News releases —Releases may be provided to igate the costs associated with production, you may print, radio, or television outlets. Releases should be want to contact local stations to see whether they offer double-space typed on stationery that provides the sponsored placements, in which local advertisers donate source of the announcement (ie, the advisory council time for specific public service messages. Public service or task force). Include the subject of the news release announcements may consist of script only, sight and and contact information in the upper left corner. The sound (simple or complex), or 16-mm film or videotape. 1744 Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

14 Jones BA, Beck AM. Unreported dog bites and attitudes 27. a See www.avma.org for additional and updated information. The pet con - towards dogs. In: Anderson RK, Hart BL, Hart LA, eds. b Anderson RD, Nevada Department of Public Health, Reno, Nev: . Minneapolis: nection: its influence on our health and quality of life Personal communication, 1999. University of Minnesota, 1984;355–363. c National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. - Resource guide 28. Beck AM, Jones BA. Unreported dog bites in children. ; in preparation. line for state and local injury control programs Public Health Rep 1985;100:315–321. Thompson, PG. The public health impact of dog attacks in 29. References [serial online] 1997;167:129–132. Med J Aust a major Australian city. 1. Beaver BV. Canine behavior: a guide for veterinarians . Available at: http://www.mja.com.au. Accessed April 24, 2000. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1999. Wright JC. Severe attacks by dogs: characteristics of the dogs, 30. Wise JK, Yang JJ. Dog and cat ownership, 1991–1998. J Am 2. Public Health Rep the victims, and the attack settings. 1985;100:55–61. 1994;204:1166–1167. Vet Med Assoc Karlson TA. The incidence of facial injuries from dog bites. 31. 3. Center for Information Management. US pet ownership and 1984;251:3265–3267. JAMA demographics sourcebook . Schaumburg, Ill: American Veterinary Harris D, Imperato PJ, Oken B. Dog bites—an unrecognized 32. Medical Association, 1997. N Y Acad Med Bull 1974;50:981–1000. epidemic. - 4. Sacks JJ, Kresnow M, Houston B. Dog bites: how big a prob 33. American Animal Hospital Association. Owner education is 1996;2:52–54. Inj Prev lem? key to preventing pet behavior problems. 1995;Spring. Paw Prints 5. Quinlan KP, Sacks JJ. Hospitalizations for dog bite injuries. J Am Vet Arkow P. Animal control laws and enforcement. 34. JAMA 1999;281:232–233. 1991;198:1164–1172. Med Assoc Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite 6. Borchelt PL, Lockwood R, Beck AM, et al. Attacks by packs 35. injuries treated in emergency departments. 1998;2711:51–53. JAMA Public Health Rep of dogs involving predation on human beings. 7. Wright JC. Canine aggression toward people: bite scenarios 1983;98:57–66. and prevention. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1991;21:299–314. 36. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dog-bite relat - 8. Parrish HM, Clack FB, Brobst D, et al. Epidemiology of dog Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ed fatalities United States, 1995-1996. MMWR 1959;74:891–903. bites. Public Health Rep 1997;46:463–467. 9. Sacks JJ, Sattin RW, Bonzo SE. Dog bite-related fatalities 37. Hannah HW. Municipal animal control ordinances—some from 1979 through 1988. JAMA 1989;262:1489–1492. legal issues. 1998;213:38–39. J Am Vet Med Assoc Sacks JJ, Lockwood R, Hornreich J, et al. Fatal dog attacks, 10. Hannah HW. Legal issues involved in the control of dan - 38. 1989-1994. Pediatrics 1996;97:891–895. 1994;204:735–736. gerous dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 11. Beaver BV. Human-canine interactions: a summary of per - J Am Vet Med Assoc Hannah HW. Dog-bite statutes. 39. 1997;210:1148–1150. J Am Vet Med Assoc spectives. 1989;195:908–909. 12. Lockwood R. Vicious dogs: communities, humane societies, J 40. Hannah HW. Veterinarians, dog bite statutes, and liability. Comm Anim Control and owners struggle with a growing problem. Am Vet Med Assoc 1981;179:662–663. 1996;Mar/Apr:12–14. 41. Lauer EA, White WC, Lauer BA. Dog bites: a neglected 13. Podberscek AL. Dog on a tightrope: the position of the dog 1982;136:202–204. problem in accident prevention. Am J Dis Child in British society as influenced by press reports on dog attacks (1988 Lockwood R, Rindy K. Are “pit bulls” different? An analy 42. - 1994;7:232–241. Anthrozoös to 1992). 1987;1:2–8. sis of the pit bull terrier controversy. Anthrozoös Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, et al. Breeds of dogs involved 14. - Moss SP, Wright JC. The effects of dog ownership on judg 43. J Am Vet in fatal attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. 1987;1(2):95–99. Anthrozoös ments of dog bite likelihood. Med Assoc 2000;217:836–840. Podberscek AL, Blackshaw JK. Dog bites: why, when and 44. 15. Gershman KA, Sacks JJ, Wright JC. Which dogs bite? A 1990;20:182–186. Aust Vet Pract where? 1994;93:913–917. case-control study of risk factors. Pediatrics AVMA animal welfare forum: human-canine interactions. 45. J 16. Line SW. Factors associated with surrender of animals to an 1997;210:1121–1154. Am Vet Med Assoc 135th AVMA Annu Conv, . urban humane society, in Proceedings 46. Segan DJ. When the dog bites: strategies for emergency 1998;345–348. 1994;22:67–69. management. The Physician and Sportsmedicine 17. Mays J. How many ACOs should you have? NACA News Sosin DM, Sacks JJ, Sattin RW. Causes of nonfatal injuries in 47. 1998;Jan/Feb:27. 1992;24:685–687. Accid Anal Prev the United States, 1986. 18. American Humane Association, American Veterinary 48. American Veterinary Medical Association. Zoonosis updates Medical Association, The Humane Society of the United States, Pet from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Schaumburg, Ill: Food Institute. Model dog and cat control ordinance. Schaumburg, Ill: American Veterinary Medical Association, 1995. American Veterinary Medical Association, 1976. AVMA Committee on the Human-Animal Bond. - 49. The veteri 19. National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. narian’s way of selecting a proper pet . Schaumburg, Ill: American . J Am Vet Med Assoc Compendium of animal rabies control 1999; Veterinary Medical Association, 1986. 214:198–202. - American Veterinary Medical Association. Dangerous ani 50. Marmer L. The new breed of municipal dog control laws: 20. 2001 AVMA membership directo mal legislation (position statement). - are they constitutional? University of Cincinnati Law Review , 2000:86. ry and resource manual 1984;53:1067–1081. Beaver BV. Profiles of dogs presented for aggression. J Am 51. Hart BL. Selecting, raising, and caring for dogs to avoid 21. Anim Hosp Assoc 1993;29:564–569. 1997;210:1129–1134. problem aggression. J Am Vet Med Assoc 52. Borchelt PL. Aggressive behavior of dogs kept as compan - 22. Voith VL, Wright JC, Danneman PJ. Is there a relationship ion animals: classification and influence of sex, reproductive status between canine behavior problems and spoiling activities, anthropo - and breed. 1983;10:45–61. Appl Anim Ethol 1992;34: Appl Anim Behav Sci morphism, and obedience training? Hart BL, Hart LA. Selecting pet dogs on the basis of cluster 53. 263–272. analysis of breed behavior profiles and gender. J Am Vet Med Assoc 23. Quinlan KP, Sacks JJ, Kresnow M. Exposure to and compli - 1985;186:1181–1185. ance with pediatric injury prevention counseling—United States, 54. J Am Hart BL, Miller MF. Behavioral profiles of dog breeds. 1994. 1998;102:E55. Pediatrics Vet Med Assoc 1985;186:1175–1180. 24. Miller TR, Galbraith M. Injury prevention counseling by Hopkins SG, Schubert TA, Hart BL. Castration of adult male 55. 1995;96:1–4. pediatricians: a benefit-cost comparison. Pediatrics dogs: effects on roaming, aggression, urine marking, and mounting. Bass JL, Christoffel KK, Widome M, et al. Childhood injury 25. 1976;168:1108–1110. J Am Vet Med Assoc prevention counseling in primary care settings: a critical review of 56. Horwitz D. Pet misbehavior: the human-animal bond at 1993;92:544–550. Pediatrics the literature. risk. Adv Small Anim Med Surg 1998;11:1–3. 26. Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention, American 57. Landsberg GM. The distribution of canine behavior cases at - Academy of Pediatrics. Office-based counseling for injury preven 1991;Oct:1011–1018. three behavior referral practices. Vet Med Pediatrics tion. 1994;94:566–567. Handbook of 58. Landsberg B, Hunthausen W, Ackerman L. Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1745 JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

15 75. . Boston: Butterworth- behaviour problems of the dog and cat N Engl J Med Fleisher GR. The management of bite wounds. Heinemann, 1997;129–150. 1999;340:138–140. Lund JD, Vestergaard KS. Development of social behaviour in Talan DA, Citron DM, Abrahamian FM, et al. 76. 59. four litters of dogs ( 1998;39:183–193. N Engl J Med Canis familiaris ). Acta Vet Scand Bacteriologic analysis of infected dog and cat bites. 1999;340:85-92. Mathews JR, Lattal KA. A behavioral analysis of dog bites to 60. children. Dev Behav Ped 1994;15:44–52. Neilson JC, Eckstein RA, Hart BL. Effects of castration on 61. Appendix 1 Groups potentially involved in dog bite prevention problem behaviors in male dogs with reference to age and duration 1997;211:180–182. of behavior. J Am Vet Med Assoc A model program for preventing dog bites begins with assembling a local Netto WJ, Planta DJU. Behavioural testing for aggression in 62. coalition. Wide representation of community views on the coalition helps the domestic dog. Appl Anim Behav Sci 1997;52:243–263. ensure sufficient input and community acceptance of the program. Key play - - 63. O’Farrell V, Peachey E. Behavioural effects of ovariohys ers include: J Small Anim Pract 1990;31:595–598. terectomy on bitches. animal control officials ? Overall K. When dogs bite: what you don’t know can kill 64. ? attorneys, judges ? business sector (eg, local business leaders, insurance companies, pet DVM Newsmagazine dogs. 1998;Apr:13S–20S. stores) 65. Clinical behavioral medicine for small animals Overall K. . St dog breeders and trainers ? Louis: Mosby, 1997;88–137. - educational system (eg, schools, parent ? teacher organizations) Overall KA. Sex and aggression. Canine Pract 1996;20:16–18. 66. ? health departments and public health associations - 67. Overall K. Fearful aggression, anxiety case leads to inten humane societies ? 1995;May: DVM Newsmagazine sive behavior modification protocol. ? human healthcare providers and associations (eg, nurses, pediatricians, 6S–10S. community health centers, emergency medical service and ambulance 68. Overall KL. Early intervention by owner can help prevent companies, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, managed care inappropriate play aggression. DVM Newsmagazine 1993;26(9):43. organizations, medical associations, medical examiners’ and coroners’ Reisner IR, Erb HN, Houpt KA. Risk factors for behavior- 69. offices, schools of medicine and public health, trauma centers) related euthanasia among dominant-aggressive dogs: 110 cases ? kennel clubs, dog clubs, assistance dog organizations (1989–1992) J Am Vet Med Assoc 1994;205:855–863. ? law enforcement agencies 70. Tan JS. Human zoonotic infections transmitted by dogs and ? local government officials 1997;157:1933–1943. cats. Arch Intern Med ? media 71. Underman AE. Bite wounds inflicted by dogs and cats. Vet - occupational safety organizations, agencies, and groups (eg, firefight ? Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1987;17:195–207. ers, meter readers) Wright JC. Canine aggression: dog bites to people. In: Voith 72. veterinary care providers and associations, allied staff, clinics, schools ? VL, Borchelt PL, eds. Trenton, Readings in companion animal behavior. of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology NJ: Veterinary Learning Systems, 1996:240–246. volunteer nonprofit organizations (eg, boy/girl scouts; various “Y”s; 4-H ? 73. Zoonotic diseases in the immunocompromised: roles of clubs; chapters of the American Red Cross, Safe Kids, National Safety Am Assoc Food Hyg Veterinarians News- physicians and veterinarians. Council, and National Fire Protection Association; foundations; United O-Gram 1998;Nov/Dec:14–15. Way; and civic groups [Kiwanis, Rotary]) - 74. American Veterinary Medical Association. People and ani - ? other groups (eg, sports recreation clubs [joggers, bicyclists], automo Schaumburg, Ill: American Veterinary mals sharing the world. bile clubs, extension offices) Medical Association, 1993. Continued on next page. Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 1746

16 Appendix 2 Model dog and cat control ordinance Originally produced and published jointly by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Section 2. Every facility regulated by this ordinance shall be considered a separate enter - American Humane Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Pet Food prise, requiring an individual permit. Modifications have been made from the original version to reflect updated US Institute in 1976. Under the provisions of this ordinance, no permit fee shall be required of any animal shelter. e. Public Laws, current titles of other referenced documents, and present favored terminology All other provisions shall apply. Any change in the category under which a permit is issued and definitions concerning “dangerous” animals. shall be reported to the [licensing authority] within sixty (60) days, whereupon reclassifica - tion and appropriate adjustment of the permit fee shall be made. Section 1. Definitions Failure to comply with the provisions of this section is subject to a fine of $____. f. As used in this ordinance the following terms mean: Animal— For the purpose of this ordinance, animal shall mean dog or cat. Section 4. Issuance and revocation of permits and licenses Animal control authority— The person or persons designated to enforce this ordinance. a. The [appropriate authority] may revoke any permit or license if the person holding the per - Animal establishment— Any pet shop, grooming shop, animal auction, performing-animal exhibi - mit or license refuses or fails to comply with this ordinance, the regulations promulgated by tion, kennel or animal shelter, except this term shall not include veterinary medical facilities, the [appropriate authority] or any other law governing the protection and keeping of animals. licensed research facilities, facilities operated by government agencies, or licensed animal - b. If an applicant is shown to have withheld or falsified any material information on the appli dealers regulated by the USDA under the provisions of US Public Laws 89-544, 91-579, 94-279, cation, the [licensing authority] may refuse to issue or may revoke a permit or license. 99-198, and 101-624. c. It shall be a condition of issuance of any permit for an animal establishment that the [appro - Animal shelter— Facility designated or recognized by the [jurisdiction]* for the purpose of priate authority] shall be permitted to inspect any and all animals and the premises where impounding and caring for animals. such animals are kept at any reasonable time during normal business hours. Where a per - At large— A dog or cat shall be deemed to be at large when off the property of the owner and not mit is revoked for any cause, or pending appeal of any such action, the [appropriate author - under restraint. ity] shall have power of entry on the premises and into all areas where animals are being Care of an animal to include, but not be limited to, adequate heat, ventilation Humane manner— kept. A person denied a permit may not reapply for a period of at least thirty (30) days. Each and sanitary shelter, wholesome food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and reapplication shall disclose any previous denial or revocation and shall be accompanied by feedings habits of the animal’s size, species, and breed. a $____ fee. Kennel— An establishment kept for the purpose of breeding, selling, or boarding dogs or cats or Section 5. Owner responsibility engaged in training dogs or cats. a. All dogs and cats shall be kept under restraint. The agency or department of [jurisdiction] or any designated representative Licensing authority— Every “dangerous” dog or cat, as determined by the [appropriate authority], shall be con - b. thereof charged with administering the issuance and/or revocation of permits and licenses fined by its owner within a building or secure enclosure and shall be securely muzzled or under the provisions of this ordinance. caged whenever off the premises of its owner. Dogs kept for the primary purpose of protecting livestock from preda - Livestock guarding dogs— c. No dog or cat shall be allowed to cause a nuisance. The owner of every dog or cat shall be tory attacks. held responsible for every behavior of such dog or cat under the provisions of this ordinance. Neutered— Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of $_____. d. Nuisance— A dog or cat shall be considered a nuisance if it: damages, soils, defiles, or defecates Dog and cat owners shall ensure that their dog or cat carries identification at all times in the e. on private property other than the owner’s or on public walks and recreation areas unless such form of microchip, tag, or other means to allow easy determination of the owners. waste is immediately removed and properly disposed of by the owner; causes unsanitary, f. Livestock guarding dogs shall be exempt from nuisance regulations when performing duties “dangerous,” or offensive conditions; causes a disturbance by excessive barking or other protecting livestock on premises owned or controlled by the owner. noise making; or chases vehicles, or molests, attacks, or interferes with persons or other Section 6. Impoundment domestic animals on public property. a. Any dog or cat found running at large shall be impounded by the [animal control authority] in Owner— A person having the right of property or custody of a dog or cat or who keeps or harbors an animal shelter and confined in a humane manner. Immediately upon impounding a dog a dog or cat or knowingly permits a dog or cat to remain on or about any premises occupied by or cat, the [animal control authority] shall make every reasonable effort to notify the owner that person. and inform such owner of the conditions whereby custody of the animal may be regained. - Person— Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization, or institution commonly recog Dogs and cats not claimed by their owners within a period of [five (5) full days]¶ in which the nized by law as a unit. shelter is open to the public shall become the property of the [jurisdiction]. Pet shop— An establishment engaged in the business of buying or selling, at retail, dogs or cats When a dog or cat is found running at large and its ownership is verified by the [animal con - b. or other animals for profit-making purposes. trol authority], the authority may exercise the option of serving the owner with a notice of A dog or cat shall be considered under restraint if it is within the real property limits Restraint— violation in lieu of impounding the animal. of its owner or secured by a leash or lead or under the control of a responsible person. c. In the event that the [appropriate authority] finds dogs or cats to be suffering, it shall have - “Dangerous” dog or cat— A dog or cat that without justification attacks a person or domestic ani the right forthwith to remove or cause to have removed any such animals to a safe place for mal causing physical injury or death, or behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would care at the owner’s expense or to euthanatize them when necessary to prevent further suf - - believe poses an unjustified imminent threat or serious injury or death to one (1) or more per fering. Return to the owner may be withheld until the owner shall have made full payment for sons or domestic animals. all expenses so incurred. Section 2. Licensing and rabies vaccination Disposal of an animal by any method specified here in does not relieve the owner of liability d. Except as provided in Section 3, no person shall own, keep, or harbor any dog or cat over a. for violations and any accrued charges. four (4) months of age within [jurisdiction] unless such dog or cat is vaccinated and Section 7. Redemption licensed. The provisions of this section do not apply to animals owned by a licensed - Any animal impounded may be redeemed by the owner thereof within five (5) days upon pay a. research facility or held in a veterinary medical facility or government operated or licensed - ment of an impoundment fee of $____ , provided that if any such animal has been previous animal shelter. ly impounded, the impoundment fee shall be $____ . Payment of impoundment fees is not - All dogs and cats shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian, in accor b. considered to be in lieu of any fine, penalty, or license fees. dance with the latest “Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control” authored by Any animal confined for rabies quarantine, evidence, or other purpose may be redeemed by b. the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and published annually in the the owner thereof upon payment of a fee of $____ . . Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association c. No animal required to be licensed or vaccinated under this ordinance may be redeemed until A certificate of vaccination shall be issued to the owner of each animal vaccinated on a form c. provisions for such licensing have been fulfilled. recommended by the Compendium. Each owner shall also receive a durable vaccination tag † indicating the year in which it was issued. Section 8. Adoption d. Application for a license must be made within thirty (30) days after obtaining a dog or cat An adoption fee of $____ shall be assessed at the time of adoption. No dog or cat shall be over 4 months of age, except that this requirement will not apply to a nonresident keeping a released for adoption as a pet without being neutered or without a written agreement from the dog or cat with the [jurisdiction] for no longer than sixty (60) days. adopter guaranteeing that the animal will be neutered. Vaccination fees, licensing fees, and vet - Written application for a dog or cat license shall be made to the [licensing authority] and erinary costs may be assessed above and beyond the adoption fee. shall include the name and address of the owner and the name, breed, color, age, and sex of the dog or cat. Applicants also shall pay the prescribed licensing fee and provide proof of Section 9. Interference current rabies vaccination. No person shall interfere with, hinder, or molest any agent of the [animal control authority] in the ‡ The licensing period shall be for e. year(s). License renewal may be applied for within sixty performance of any duty as herein provided. (60) days prior to the expiration date. New residents must apply for a license within thirty (30) Any person violating this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to days of establishing residence. a fine of not less than $____ or more than $____ . f. A license shall be issued after payment of a fee of $____ for each unneutered dog or cat and Section 10. Repeals (conflicting ordinances) - Persons who fail to obtain a license as required with $____ for each neutered dog or cat. § All other ordinances of the [jurisdiction] that are in conflict with this ordinance are hereby in the time period specified in this section will be subjected to a delinquent fee of $____ . repealed to the extent of such conflict. g. License fees shall be waived for dogs serving the blind or deaf or government-owned dogs used for law enforcement. All other licensing provisions shall apply. Section 11. Severability h. Upon acceptance of the license application and fee, the [licensing authority] shall issue a If any part of this ordinance shall be held invalid, such part shall be deemed severable and the durable license tag including an identifying number, year of issuance, city, county, and state. invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining parts of this ordinance. Both rabies and license tags must be attached to the collar of the dog or cat.II Tags must be Section 12. Applicability worn at all times and are not transferable. [Licensing authority] shall maintain a record of all This ordinance shall be in full force and effect upon the expiration of days after its passage and licenses issued, and such records shall be available to the [animal control authority]. publication. Section 3. Permits - No person shall operate an animal establishment without first obtaining a permit in compli a. Section 13. Safety clause ance with this section The [jurisdiction] hereby finds, determines, and declares that this ordinance is necessary for the b. The permit period shall begin with the first day of the fiscal year and shall run for one (1) year. immediate preservation of the public health, safety, and welfare of the [jurisdiction] and the inhab - Renewal applications for permits may be made within sixty (60) days prior to the expiration itants thereof. date. Application for a permit to establish a new breeding animal establishment under the provisions of this ordinance may be made at any time. *For all occurrences of [ ], communities should insert their applicable agency. †The organizations Annual permits shall be issued upon payment of the applicable fee: c. developing this model ordinance recommended that licensing tags show, in addition to the license For each kennel authorized to house less than six (6) dogs or cats i. $ ____ number, the city or county and state in which the animal is registered. This helps to alleviate the ii. For each kennel authorized to house six (6) but not more than problem of an animal being left unidentified or unclaimed because it has been transported from forty-nine (49) dogs or cats $ ____ one state to another and has no reference to the issuing city or county on the license tag. ‡Where iii. For each kennel authorized to house fifty (50) or more dogs and cats $ ____ blanks are found without insertions, communities should insert applicable fees or conditions. iv. For each pet shop $ ____ §Differential license fees for neutered animals serve as an incentive for responsible pet ownership. $ ____ v. For other animal establishments - IIBreakaway collars are recommended when tags are affixed to collars worn by cats. ¶It is recog A person who maintains a kennel of six (6) or more dogs or cats for breeding purposes may d. ties; however, nized that holding periods will be determined to some degree by availability of facili pay an annual permit fee or may elect to license individual dogs or cats as provided under it is important to ensure a reasonable opportunity for owners to reclaim their dog or cat. Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1747 JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

17 Appendix 3 Recommended data elements for reports of dog bites Data element Comment Comment Data element . . . Notifications of dog attacks on humans Dog information A card or telephone report to be submitted by those providing Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . care Breed Indicate by whose designation to the human victim Name of victim (eg, owner report, animal control Address of victim officer, law enforcement officer). Telephone (home and work) This is important if breed data are Parent contact information to be interpreted. Sex (if a minor) Incident date and time Age Weight Reported to whom Date and time of report Reproductive status Name of veterinarian A card or telephone report to be . . Notifications of dog attacks on animals Rabies vaccination date submitted by those providing Rabies tag number care to the animal victim License number Owner of victim Microchip number Type of victim Degree of confinement . . . . . . . . . Identifying different forms of Address of owner at time of bite confinement (eg, chaining, Telephone (home and work) tethering, electronic fence) is Incident date and time important if risk associated with Name and address of owner these practices is to be assessed. or custodian of attacking dog Reported to whom Prior incidents Date and time of report Obedience training For animal control investigations Circumstances of the bite Agency information Victim account Case number Owner’s account Report date and time Witness account Incident date and time (contact information) Who reported the case Number of dogs involved . . . . . . . . Attacks by multiple dogs may Report received by account for 20 to 30% of incidents. Location of incident Forms for these animals could be Victim information given case numbers with a special Name designation (eg, 123A, 123B). Breed (if animal) Injury information Age and date of birth Location of injury Sex Nature of injury Address Severity of injury Telephone (home and work) Parent contact information (if minor) Animal disposition Rabies immunization status (if animal) Quarantine location Owner information Date of quarantine Name Date to be released Age and date of birth Quarantined by Sex Euthanatized Address Telephone (home and work) Continued on next page. Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001 1748

18 Appendix 4 Model legislation for the identification and regulation of “dangerous” dogs facility), and to provide prompt notification to (the appropriate Health A. Actions allowed by authorized persons prior to hearing Department or animal control facility) of any changes in the ownership of the 1. If any dog shall attack a person or domestic animal who was peaceably animal; names, addresses and telephone numbers of new owners; any conducting himself in any place where he may lawfully be, any person, change in the health status of the animal; any further instances of attack; any for the purpose preventing imminent injury or further injury, may use claims made or lawsuits brought as a result of further instances of attack; such force as is required to stop the attack. the death of the animal. In addition, the judge or justice, or hearing panel A police officer or peace officer acting pursuant to his statutory duties 2. subject to judicial review, may require any or all of the following, but items 5, may, where the threat of serious injury to a person or domestic animal is 6 and 11, or any one of them, may only be imposed where there has been imminent and unjustified, use such force as is required to prevent such serious injury to a person. injury. 1. Indoors, when not alone, the dog be under the control of a person eigh - Definitions B. teen (18) years or older. (Provisions for the dog to be outdoors must also 1. be made.) a. “Dangerous dog” means any dog which without justification attacks Outdoors and unattended, the dog be kept within a locked fenced area 2. a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or death, or from which it cannot escape. behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses When outdoors the dog must be attended and kept within a fenced area 3. an unjustified imminent threat of serious injury or death to one or from which it cannot escape. more persons or domestic animals. A dog’s breed shall not be con - 4. When outdoors the dog must be attended and kept on a leash no longer sidered in determining whether or not it is “dangerous.” Further, than six (6) feet and under the control of a person eighteen (18) years of b. No dog may be declared “dangerous” age or older. If the dog was protecting or defending a person within the i. 5. When outdoors the dog must be attended and muzzled. Such muzzle immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault; shall not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration ii. If at the time the person was committing a crime or offense but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal. upon the property of the owner, or custodian, of the dog; 6. Outdoors and unattended, the dog must be confined to an escape-proof If the person was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the iii. kennel of the following description: dog, or in the past had teased, tormented, abused or assaulted Such kennel shall allow the dog to stand normally and without a. the dog; restriction, and shall be at least two and one half (2.5) times the If the dog was attacked or menaced by the domestic animal, or iv. length of the dog, and shall protect the dog from the elements. - the domestic animal was on the property of the owner, or cus Fencing materials shall not have openings with a diameter of more b. todian, of the dog; than two (2) inches, and in the case of wooden fences, the gaps If the dog was responding to pain or injury, or protecting itself, v. shall not be more than two (2) inches. its kennels or its offspring; c. Any gates within such kennel or structure shall be lockable and of vi. If the person or domestic animal was disturbing the dog’s nat - such design as to prevent the entry of children or the escape of the ural functions such as sleeping or eating. - animal, and when the dog is confined to such kennel and unattend vii. Neither growling nor barking, nor both, shall alone constitute ed such locks shall be kept locked. grounds upon which to find a dog to be “dangerous.” The kennel may be required to have double exterior walls to prevent d. “Attack” means aggressive physical contact initiated by the dog. 2. the insertion of fingers, hands or other objects. 3. “Serious injury” means any physical injury consisting of broken bones Placement of a sign or signs of a description and in places directed by 7. or a permanently disfiguring laceration requiring either multiple stitches - the judge or justice, advising the public of the presence and tenden or cosmetic surgery. cies of said animal. 4. “Domestic animal” means any animal commonly kept as a pet in family 8. Attendance by the dog and its owner/custodian at training sessions households in the United States, including, but not limited to dogs, cats, - conducted by a certified applied animal behaviorist, board certified vet guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters; and any animals commonly kept for erinary behaviorist or other recognized expert in the field and comple - companion or commercial purposes. tion of training or any other treatment as deemed appropriate by such Hearing procedure C. expert. The owners of the dog shall be responsible for all costs associ - Any person may make a complaint of an alleged “dangerous” dog as 1. ated with the evaluation and training ordered under this section. that term is defined herein to a police officer or peace officer of the Neutering or spaying of the dog at the owner’s expense, unless med 9. - appropriate municipality. Such officers shall immediately inform the ically contraindicated. complainant of his right to commence a proceeding provided for in That the dog be permanently identified by tattooing or by injecting an 10. Paragraph 2, immediately below, and, if there is reason to believe the identification microchip, using standard veterinary procedures and dog is a “dangerous” dog, the officer shall forthwith commence such practices, identification number and the identification of the person per - proceeding himself. forming the procedure to be registered with the (appropriate health Any person may, and any police officer, or peace officer acting within 2. department or animal control facility) as indicated above. the scope of his statutory duties, shall make a complaint under oath or The procurement of liability insurance in an amount to be determined by 11. affirmation of an allege dangerous” dog as that term is defined herein to - the judge or justice, but in no case in an amount of less than fifty thou any municipal judge or justice. Thereupon, the judge or justice, or hear - sand dollars ($50,000), covering the medical and or veterinary costs ing panel subject to judicial review, shall immediately determine if there resulting from future actions of the dog (a determination of liability shall is probable cause to believe the dog is a “dangerous” dog and, if so, be made in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction). This condition or peace officer pursuant to shall issue an order to any police officer may not be imposed if it is shown that no such insurance is available for his statutory duties or animal control officer directing such officer to a reasonable premium. - immediately seize such dog and hold same pending judicial determina If any of the above conditions ordered by a judge or justice, or hearing 12. tion as herein provided. Whether or not the judge or justice, or hearing panel subject to judicial review, are not complied with, the owner shall panel subject to judicial review, finds there is probable cause for such be subject to a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). seizure, he shall, within five (5) days and upon written notice of not less - than three (3) days to the owner of the dog, hold a hearing on the com 13. If a further incident of attack occurs under such circumstances that the plaint. dog, after a hearing as described above, is determined to be a “danger - ous” dog, the judge or justice, or hearing panel subject to judicial Where a dog is determined pursuant to clear and convincing evidence at a D. review, may impose or reimpose any applicable directives listed above; duly constituted hearing to be “dangerous,” the judge or justice, or hearing additionally, humane destruction of the dog may be ordered, but only panel subject to judicial review, shall require the owner of said animal to reg - where the further incident involves serious injury to a person. ister such animal (with the appropriate Health Department or animal control Appendix 5 Suggested reading for professionals (numbers correspond to cited references) Group Reference numbers Public officials and community leaders 4, 6, 8-9, 10, 12, 14-16, 18, 20, 27-28, 30, 32-47 Veterinarians 1, 4-10, 12, 14-16, 27-28, 30, 32, 35-36, 39, 41-73 Veterinary technicians 7, 12, 16, 28, 43-45, 47, 50-57, 59,61, 63-64, 66-69, 74 Physicians and nurses 4-6, 8-10, 12, 14-15, 27-28, 30, 32, 35-36, 41, 43, 45-48, 60, 70-71, 73, 75-76 4-6, 10, 12, 14-15, 27-28, 30, 35-36, 41-43, 51-55, 61, 66, 69, 71 Humane society/animal shelter/ rescue personnel Vet Med Today: Canine Aggression Task Force 1749 JAVMA, Vol 218, No. 11, June 1, 2001

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