How to Be Safer Against Dog Attacks
Dog attacks is a serious problem, a real plague that is menacing our communities. Here we give some recommendations about prevention on:
1 – How to Avoid a Dog Attack
2 – How to Prevent a Dog Bite
3 – How to Protect your Kids from Assault
4 – What To Do During a Dog Attack
The most basic situation that can put a person in danger is obviously getting close to a dog, any dog, no matter size or breed. Not to mention how disgusting dogs are. This way staying far away from them is the best we can do, but certainly it’s not possible in a society controlled by dogs that we live in today. Dogs will come to our encounter regardless if we want it or not.
So, what can we do to be safer? This:
It’s quite unfortunate that in the 21st century we have to be constantly looking for threats in our daily lives, be it within the city center, suburbs, parks and rural areas. Every corner, every front yard, any turn in a park trail may hide a threat to our safety. If you hear dogs barking than you should be on an even higher state of alertness, but remember that many dogs can attack without making any sound.
If you think you may be attacked, be prepared to fight back, both physically *and* psychologically. Sure, some people may “freeze” but hopefully you will remember this article and will stay alert and ready to retaliate.
Protect Your Kids
In case you are with your family, kids and loved ones, position yourself in front of them. At the same time, try to bring the dog to some distance away from your kids, telling them to find shelter like their home, a car or a (good, no-dog) neighbor house. Easier said than done, right? Unfortunately that is the insanity we face nowadays.
As soon as the attacker beast comes on you, make use of any possible object at your immediate reach, be it a baseball club, a stone, a thick wood stick, a gardening fork, a camping knife, a concrete brick, hot coffee, mace, stun gun (more on this ahead), bear spray, your bike (put between yourself and the dog)… or, if you have kind of steel toe boots, just kick it as much as you can to make the beast run away. Try to hit the dog specially at the head and neck, kicking from down-up, not just sideways. Hitting the rear may have little effect but if that is your only option don’t waste it.
Don’t be shy, fight and kick as hard and for as long as you can until the dog stops mauling and biting you.
Don’t be shy, again, because the sanguinary assassin will not feel sorry for you.
Do Not Scream
Your cries of fear will not scare the beast but can indeed make them an incentive for the dog to attack even more. If you do scream — some people may not avoid it — one good Samaritan might come to help you but chances are that s/he will also be hurt. The exception to this rule is when you have a loud, strong voice so you could perhaps scare or at least confuse the dog instead, as long as your voice sounds firm and authoritative, not fear.
Remain motionless. If you can not get hold of any hardened object, like above, put hands at your sides or on your chest with your fists in a strong defensive manner. Look the dog on the eyes so that you try to show no fear. Some people say you should never look into a dog’s eyes because they may attack. However, in this case the beast is *already* coming towards you so looking away will only increase the odds of you being hurt even more.
Avoid Further Wounds
If you fall or are knocked to the ground by the attacker, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears, at the same time than hiding your neck and jugular, and remain motionless as much as you can. If possible, try not stop kicking the dog specially at the head or neck. Remember to try not to scream or roll around. What to do here will depend on your circumstances and abilities.
Leave the area
In case you are less unfortunate, once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until the dog is out of sight. Again, do not yet run or cry for help.
Avoid further health complications
Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water. Dog’s saliva invariably have a number of dangerous diseases, on top of possible leishmaniasis and rabies diseases.
Call 911 (Police AND Medical Services)
It’s extremely important to call Police. First, because they can restrain the attacking dog, together with Animal Control, thus preventing other people of being hurt or even killed. Second, it will have an undeniable record of what happened, at least since when Police arrived. This can be used as the victim proceeds to prosecute the owner of the dog.
At the Hospital
Be very clear to the Emergency Doctors and Nurses about what happened and try to get copies of every paper records you can, and take notes as well.
Report the Attack – To Animal Control
immediately report the attempted murder (yes, this may be the case in these situations) to your local animal care and control agency even though they may had to restrain the dog together with Police. Take notes of every detail like time of report/call, name of attendant, case number, direct hone number of the person responsible for your case. Tell the animal control person everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where he lives, if known. If the dog is a stray, tell animal control what the dog looks like, where you saw it, whether you’ve seen it before, and in which direction it went.
Report the Attack – To the Media
As soon as you start recovering, either still in the Hospital or right at home, call your media of choice and tell them about the Incident (it was Not an Accident since it was preventable). You very probably will find a reporter or two unwillingly to publish your ordeal so the only answer is to try again until you find a professional reporter. Don’t limit yourself and try to reach Newspapers, TV, Radio and certainly Internet. Once more in other words, Do Not Leave it for Tomorrow.
Contact your Physician
Visit your family doctor for additional care and advice. Keep all bills and receipts even if they paid for by your health insurance.
Contact an Attorney
Due to the ever-growing number of dog attacks and killings and other problems in our communities, there are a number of Lawyers that will take good care of this case. Some Attorneys have even specialized on this specific matter and may have very high rates of success winning a case against an irresponsible dog-owner. There may be one nice Lawyer close to you in your own city. Hiring a lawyer is usually the last thing you should do, but not in this case.
Carry a legal gun or legally concealed weapon
We do NOT recommend this option, so we left it for last. Also because it’s never the best option, even though some times necessary. Some cities or countries allow their use when according to the law of those areas, meaning licensing as a minimum. Every place is different. If a lethal weapon is fired in a park or open area it will be very difficult to prove that you were in your right, specially with the dog craze existent nowadays. Again, this last option is NOT RECOMMENDED.
Some ideas that may come to people’s minds:
Pepper Spray. Well, unfortunately Pepper Spray IS PROHIBITED in a number of places. Also, it takes a couple of seconds to affect the attacker (while a dog takes a split second to attack and wound you.
Tasers™. These are those gun-shaped weapons used by police officers that shot two highly electrified wires onto the aggressor, with immediate immobilization. Their use is basically NOT ALLOWED anywhere, only by the police or the military.Taser is not just a device but also a trademark.
Stun Guns. Remember those cardbox-sized black devices that discharges an extremely high voltage charge (of several millions of volts) when in contact with the attacker? Those are Stun Guns. Note that they only work when in direct contact with the offender so their use against a dog may only be a last resource, specially against furry dogs. They’re useful but not so easy to use since you have to be at hands reach of the dog to apply this device, but is a defense anyway. The good news is that they are NOT PROHIBITED in most places so you could carry them IF the laws in your area allow them. Please check for it before even carrying one.
Bear Spray. One good exception to the use of a weapon, in this case again not a weapon but a deterrent, is the use of Bear Spray. There is no laws against it to this date as far as we are aware of (if you know it, please let us know). Bear Spray is quite effective and has a rapid effect.Then comes the question: “Where can I find Bear Spray? I live on the Tropics!”. And then comes the answer: “The Internet”.
Once more, easier said than done, but knowledge is the most powerful weapon we normal human beings can get possession of.
You may Read it, Learn it, Put it in practice. Certainly you will Not remember all the details in a moment of extreme distress but will perhaps remember certain points. And know at least basically what to do.
All we are doing is protecting ourselves by not being a passive victim.
“Enough is enough!”
Any comments? Suggestions? Displeasure? Improvements? Solutions!? Please let us know them below.
Further reading from the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
CDC’s 10 Most Dangerous Dogs List