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Good News About Dog Bites and How to Make it Better
Date:5/17/2010

Bite Prevention Week, May 16 - 22, to highlight a successful responsible pet ownership model that can reduce that risk even further. Studies of dog bite injuries by American researchers have usually concluded with reminders of an owner's responsibility for his or her dogs.

Calgary, Alberta's Animal & Bylaw Services has successfully translated those recommendations into a plan of municipal action. Calgary enacted what was titled the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. (In the interests of full disclosure, we proudly point out that Animal & Bylaw Services Director Bill Bruce is an advisor to NCRC.) It codifies four simple principles: 1. License and provide permanent identification for your pets; 2. Spay or neuter your pets; 3. Provide training, socialization, proper diet and medical care for your pets; and 4. Do not allow your pets to become a threat or nuisance in the community.

The result in Calgary has been spectacular. For 2008, among the 1.1 million citizens of Calgary, there were only 145 dog bites.

Organizations nationwide are offering advice and educational resources to help children and adults be safe around dogs. NCRC urges Americans of all ages to take
advantage of those resources, so that we live companionably with the 75 million dogs in our midst.

And whenever dog-safety issues come up in the community, NCRC urges all Americans to remember how Calgary solved the problem.

About Karen Delise & The National Canine Research Council
Karen Delise is the Founder and Director of Research for the National Canine Research Council, and the author of The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression (Anubis Publishing) She can be reached at kdelise(at)ncrcouncil(dot)com. The mission of The National Canine Research Council is to publish accurate, documented, reliable research to promote a better understanding of the human-canine bond.

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