April 18, 2005
Just a few weeks ago a Rottweiler mauled a four-year-old boy to death. No one thought the dog could be so vicious. Just last weekend, another child was injured by a family pet.
"Every year over five million people are bitten by dogs in this country, and over 60 percent of those are children and over 80 percent of those are by dogs we know," said Dr. Steve Epstein, a local Veterinarian.
Floyd Bell shares his home with a Miniature Pincher, a Rottweiler and three kids. He said he's not worried about his kids being bitten. "I try to teach my kids that every dog is not like your dog at home," said Floyd Bell.
While that's good advice, experts warn your dog at home may not be harmless either. "Any dog can bite a person, any dog. That's the thing we have to remember, no dog will not bite under the right circumstances," said Dr. Epstein.
Experts recommend parents should teach their kids not to taunt or play too rough with a dog. "Supervise both the child and the dog, become educated about the dogs bread, and make sure that you spend some time as a family discussing how we're going to treat our pets," said Dr. Epstein.
Bells said he's done just that. "I bring them up around this stuff so they wouldn't be scared of it," said Bell.
If ever encountered in such a situation, experts said you should teach your children to lie on the ground and cover their head and face.