AR-News: (TX) Animal Control takes a bite out of attacks by animals

WeArPetitions at WeArPetitions at
Sun Nov 2 08:40:13 EST 2003

Web posted Sunday, November 2, 2003
3:55 a.m. CT

jchapman at 
The Amarillo Globe-News 
Most children know to look both ways, but not all are taught to watch out for 
So Amarillo's Animal Control has an educational program that teaches children 
- and others - about steps they can take to avoid dog bites. And new numbers 
show that the word has gotten around, Shannon Barlow, assistant director, said 
at last week's meeting of the Bi-City-County Health District. 
In the last fiscal year, 360 people were bitten by dogs, down from 446 the 
fiscal year before; bites from all animals totaled 500, down from 590. 
Barlow visits schools, parks and civic groups to teach people how to avoid 
bites and be responsible with the animals they own. When educating young 
children, she uses puppets, a mascot and two dogs - a border collie and a sheltie. 
"They'll lay down and pretend they're hurt," Barlow said. "We've used stuffed 
animals and tapes and posters, but the greatest success we've had is using 
actual live animals." 
After Barlow teaches children proper techniques for dealing with dogs, they 
can demonstrate what they've learned. 
Animal Control's budget includes about $3,000 a year for the education 
program, and Potter/Randall Safe Kids Coalition also gives about as much to the 
education program, Barlow said. 
Dogs bite to communicate and protect themselves, Barlow said. Some are just 
mean because they're poorly conditioned, she said. 
Rottweilers, pit bulls, chows, German shepherds and Doberman pinschers are 
well-known to be potential biters, but they also can be wonderful dogs, said 
Mike McGee, director of animal control. 
The Humane Society's Web site includes the following tips for people who are 
approached by a dog that may attack. 
n Never run or scream. 
n Remain motionless, hands at your side, and avoid eye contact. 
n If the dog does attack, "feed" him your jacket, purse, bicycle or anything 
you can put between yourself and the dog. 
n If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands 
over your ears. 

It can truly be said:  Men are the devils of the earth, and the animals are 
the tormented souls. --Arthur Schopenhauer 
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