Dog maulings too common in south Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dog maulings too common in south Georgia

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October 18, 2005

Albany--  In the last eight months, at least three south Georgia children have been attacked by dogs. Over the weekend, a 6-year-old girl was mauled to death by a Rottweiler in Wilcox County.

Dogs are man's best friend, but not all dogs make wonderful pets.

"Dogs think of people as other dogs," says animal control agent Tamara Piercey.

Piercey says some dogs just are not good around small children. "I would never recommend pit bulls because of their strength, and they tend to have a predatory instinct," says Piercey.

While pit bulls, Rotweilers, and chows are known to be unpredictable, there are other breeds.

"Siberian Huskies can be unpredictable, some of your smaller toy breeds can be unpredictable, Dalmatians can be very high strung, Great Danes can also be unpredictable," she says.

According to Atlanta's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 5 million people are bitten each year by dogs.

Dog maulings are nothing new to south Georgia. In February, dogs mauled a 7-year-old south Albany boy. In may, in Colquitt County, a Doberman pinscher and several other dogs viciously attacked another 7-year old, biting him more than 200 times. Just this weekend in Wilcox County, a 6-year-old died after a Rottweiler bit her in the neck.

"You have to teach the kids to handle the dog a certain way. Don't pull their tails. Don't do things that might provoke them or set them off," says Piercey.

If a dog is about to attack, there are signs to watch for.

"If its tail is very stiff and low or even sometimes up, but if it's very stiff and approaching you and it's ears are back, be careful," she says.

Be careful and do the following. "You need to be very still and very quiet. Do not run. Do not make any loud noises. Do not swing your arms or kick your legs," she says.

Piercey says most importantly if you treat a dog with respect, it will do the same to you.

Animal control workers say any dog treated harshly or trained to attack, may actually bite a person.

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