9 ways to protect yourself if attacked by dogs

The fatal mauling of Dayton resident Klonda Richey by two dogs last week has spotlighted issues surrounding the responsibility of dog owners and the laws designed to protect people from dangerous animals.

Montgomery County Animal Resource Center officials say they did all they could do from Richey’s complaints about the dogs owned by Andrew Nason, 28, and Julie Custer, 25. Richey, 57, died Friday of blood loss after two dogs, including at least one pit bull/mastiff mix, attacked her.

Experts say there are some actions people can take if they feel they are about to be or are being attacked by a dog:

• Resist the impulse to scream and run away. Try to remain calm, which may slow the dog’s attack.

• Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.

• Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.

• If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, shoes, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.

• If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

• In all cases, protect your face, chest and throat and keep your hands in fists. If you must be bitten, the safest place for it to happen is your shin or forearm.

• If you are bitten, resist the urge to pull away, which may make the injury worse.

• After escaping, immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water and contact your physician for additional care and advice.

• Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where he lives. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you’ve seen him before, and in which direction he went.

Sources: Humane Society, www.cesarsway.com

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