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Dog Safety In Our Communities

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Let me start by saying that I love dogs. My wife and I are kept in line by a black and tan miniature dachshund named Maggie Mae. We actively support the Legacy Humane Society. This is not intended to discourage anyone from spending time with their favorite four-legged friend. Over the last several months we have experienced an increase in animal attack case inquiries. It is important to understand that not every dog is safe to be around. In fact according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States every year. Children are the most common victims of dog bites, and at least half of the 800,000 people who receive medical care for dog bites each year are children.

Some of our clients have suffered serious wounds from dogs. An injury from a dog is not limited to physical pain. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a fear of being close to another dog, including your own. Below are some tips from the ASPCA that will help you, your friends, and specifically your children from being attacked by a dog.

  1. When meeting an unfamiliar dog, don’t reach out to pet until you have been given permission that it is safe to do so.
  2. After you receive permission to pet a dog let it sniff your closed hand. Then, you may proceed to pet its shoulders or chest. Avoid petting the top of the dog’s head.
  3. Do not touch an unknown dog that is sleeping, eating, or chewing a toy.
  4. Stay away from a dog that is barking or growling as well as one that is loose and behaving aggressively.
  5. If an unknown dog approaches you, stay quiet and still. Do not run or scream.

Texas has adopted The Dangerous Dog Act (Chapter 822 of the Health and Safety Code). The act does not list specific breeds that are considered to be inherently dangerous. There are both friendly and dangerous dogs in every type of breed. Most dogs will not attack unless under extreme circumstances. However, apartment complexes, home owner associations, and cities often restrict what breeds a resident or member of the community may not keep. According to Dogbreedsexpert.com certain breeds were originally bred to guard and protect which can indicate a more aggressive breed. Dogbreedsexpert.com provides their opinion of the some of the most dangerous dog breeds in the world. They include Pit Bulls, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers.

Some of our local communities and cities here in Collin County have adopted ordinances and guidelines for any and all dog breeds. Dogs are not allowed to run loose within Allen’s or Richardson’s city limits. Frisco requires that any person that has knowledge of a bite or scratch to a human that breaks the skin must report the incident to Animal Control within 24 hours of the incident. McKinney and Frisco both limit the amount of pets that may be owned within the city limits. Plano, Sachse, Wylie, and Murphy all require that pets within the city limits are to be registered with the city. Current rabies vaccinations are required at the time of registration.

So what can you do if you know of a dangerous dog in your area? Contacting your local HOA is a good start. Chances are you are not the first person to come into contact with this dog, and you might have the opportunity to protect someone in the future from being attacked and seriously injured. I told you in the beginning, I love dogs. I ask my wife at least once a week for permission to rescue another one. You can love dogs and still protect yourself and your family from those that are dangerous.