FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week and you'd be surprised to know how many times people are actually bitten. Last year, over 700 dog bites to humans were reported to Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control. 75% of the bites happened to adults and 20% were to children ages 12 and under.
"77% nationally of all the dog bites are from dogs we're familiar with. It can be our own dog or one we go to a friend's house and they have a dog," said Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control Education Specialist Holly Pasquinelli.
Pasquinelli says education is the best when it comes prevention.
"Dogs don't just bite out of the blue. They give us signals whether that can be walking away, trying to leave that situation, opening their eyes really wide, yawning a lot."
Here's how you can avoid being bitten by a dog:
1. Never leave your baby or small child alone with a dog
2. Avoid unfamiliar dogs
3. Don't disturb a dog caring for puppies, sleeping or eating
4. Don't reach through a fence or car window to pet a dog
5. Don't run past a dog
Dogs are great companions and we want to keep them safe as well. As temperatures start to climb, dog owners should be mindful that even leaving your pet unattended in a parked car in 70 degree weather is dangerous.
"Research has supported that even cracking your windows, air can't get in enough to cool that animal down," said Pasquinelli.
A dog's normal body temp ranges from 101 to 102.5. They can only withstand higher temps for a short period of time.
"Dogs don't sweat like we do at all so they pant but they can't regulate their body temperature."
What if you see a dog in distress in a car? In Indiana, there are Good Samaritan laws that allow private civilians to rescue an animal that has been left unattended.
"Call law enforcement and if that animal is showing imminent signs of stress and that it is overheating, they can break the window as long as the doors aren't unlocked. You have to check that first and you have to use a minimum amount of damage. The minimum amount that you can do to that vehicle to get that animal out. You have to stay with that animal until law enforcement gets there as well" said Pasquinelli.