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It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

The purpose of the week is to bring attention to a mostly preventable problem -- the 4.7 million people bitten by dogs every year, about 800,000 of whom receive medical attention.

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As pointed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), United States Post Office and the American Academy of Pediatrics -- all sponsors of the week -- it's up to people, not dogs, to stop dog bites.

"What's most important is that dog bites are largely preventable," said Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president. "Through appropriate dog training and education of adults and children, these numbers could be dramatically reduced."

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Small children are the most common victims of dog bites, followed by older people and postal workers.

"From nips and bites to actual attacks, violent dog behavior continues to pose a serious threat to our employees," said Patrick R. Donahoe, Deputy postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer. "Last year, more than 3,000 Postal Service employees were victimized by dogs."

To help educate the public about dog bites, the AVMA has developed a brochure. To get it, and more information on National Dog Bite Prevention Week, click here.

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