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Veterinarians, Pediatricians and Postal Workers Team Up to Reduce Incidence of Dog Bites
Date:5/15/2008

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- There are very few public health crises that can truly be cured by public awareness and education ... but dog bites are one of them. There are 4.7 million people bitten by dogs every year, and this suffering, injury, disability and mortality is completely unnecessary.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has joined with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in sponsoring Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24th, 2008, to help prevent dog bites.

"Every year approximately 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites, and half of these victims are children, so this is a very serious problem," says Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president. "About a dozen dog bite victims die every year. What's most important is that dog bites are largely preventable. Through appropriate dog training and education of adults and children, these numbers could be dramatically reduced. That's why Dog Bite Prevention Week is so important, because it brings to attention this preventable medical problem."

"Children are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury because of their smaller size and their inexperience with animals," says Renee R. Jenkins, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. "Adults should be sure to properly choose and socialize pets, and teach their children how to be safe around dogs -- both those they know and those they don't know."

"The Postal Service(TM) continues its tradition of joining forces with the AVMA to call attention to one of the nation's most commonly reported public health problems: dog attacks and bites," says Patrick R. Donahoe, Deputy postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer. "From nips and bites to actual attacks, violent dog behavior continues to pose a serious threat to our employees. Last year, more than 3,000 Postal Service employees were victimized by dogs. We hope that by joining forces we can greatly reduce the risk to our employees."

The AVMA offers tips and advice in a brochure, "What you should know about dog bite prevention." For more information on National Dog Bite Prevention Week and to access the brochure online, visit http://www.avma.org/press/publichealth/dogbite/mediakit.asp, or visit the AVMA at http://www.avma.org. For a Dog Bite Prevention Week pod cast, visit the AVMA's Media Library at: http://www.avmamedia.org/.


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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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