National Dog Bite Prevention week

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention week and 22News found out who is most vulnerable to aggressive dogs and how to avoid being attacked.

Last year more than 5,700 postal carriers were bitten by dogs, that’s 200 more than 2013 and most of these attacks happened in warmer weather.

The United Sates Postal Service says the increase in dog bites stems from the popularity of online shopping; carriers now have to bring packages to your front door.

The number of postal carriers still does not compare to the amount of children bitten. Of the 4.5 million people bitten each year, more than half are kids. There were 168 dog bites reported in Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke last year.

22News went to the Thomas J. O’Connor animal control center for advice on avoiding and preventing dangerous situations with dogs.

“Get that dog socialized, get him out and about have him meet all kinds of people. In wheelchairs have him walk on pavement, meet people of all different skin colors so they really get more well rounded” said Pam Peebles, Executive Director at the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control Center.

Pam Peebles also suggests teaching your children how to deal with dogs. Let a child know, if they’re approached by a dog to not reach out and touch it, stay still and don’t run from a dog that may chase you.

“I always have dogs in my house but I try to have the small dogs in my house for the kids” said Rosa Rivera.

Most dog bites actually come from family or friends pets. Dakin Humane Society in Springfield is offering two classes on Saturday May 30th to help integrate your dog into your family with young children, follow this link for details.

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