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Friday, Sep. 30, 2016

A Bite Is A Bite Is A Bite?

Posted Friday, October 5, 2012, at 9:13 PM

Ike's life revolves around playing fetch with his ball. He becomes obsessed and can't wait for you to throw it again!
We've all said it, ''Oh my dog would never bite.'' Yet 4.7 million people are bitten each year by dogs. Over 75% of those bites come from the families own dog and 55% happen right on the owners property. It's not quite the image we have in our mind when we think of a dog bite is it? The media has done an excellent job of painting a photo of snarling, teeth baring, vicious creatures looking like they would rip anything to pieces, terrorizing the neighborhood, running loose, and completely out of control.

As defined by Animal Control and Public Health Departments, a dog bite is any incident in which a dog's tooth or nail breaks a person's skin. According to this definition, I'm probably ''bit'' on a weekly basis. Boomer thinks it's great fun to crawl around on me when I'm reading to get my attention, resulting in a scratch that breaks the skin. If I'm not quick enough to grab Ike's ball before he gets it, his teeth will scrape my fingers resulting in a break of the skin. My cat, Willie, finds it impossible for me to pet him without giving me a nibble or paw at me snagging my skin with his teeth or claws.

My point is, the legal definition of a dog bite and what our imagination takes us to are completely different scenarios. Yes, there are bites that leave scars, both physically and emotionally and I'm not here to discount those unfortunate incidents. Just be aware that it may not always be what you think.

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It's a Dog's Life
Stephanie "Foster Mom" O'Brien
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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