Knowledge is power. Bridgeport, Conn. animal control officer Jimmy Gonzalez is one of many who work to inform and empower school children about dog bite prevention and animal cruelty. Each time Gonzalez speaks with a class, roughly half of the students admit that they have been bitten by a dog. Yet only a few say that they have reported the bite to a parent or the authorities. He also reports that too many children are exposed to animal cruelty, even dog fighting.
Because of this, Gonzales, along with legislators such as Rep. Brenda Kupchick, are asking that Connecticut develop a curriculum on the humane treatment of animals for public schools. The curriculum would be aimed at not only recognizing and preventing animal cruelty, but also teach children how to avoid being bitten by a dog.
For example, Gonzales always asks classes what to do if you see an aggressive dog. The answer is always the same.
“Every kid says it: ‘run,'” Gonzales said. “Even some of the teachers say it.”
However, this is the wrong answer. The right thing to do is to be a tree. This means standing very still, putting your hands on your chest and tilting your head down to avoid eye contact. The vast majority of the time the dog will lose interest and walk away.
Only time will tell if the measure will pass and become part of Connecticut’s curriculum. Until then, our dog bite attorneys urge you to speak with your children about how to avoid dog bites and prevent animal cruelty. Doing so may very well prevent a serious dog bite or attack.