Fast Facts about Dog Bites:
• According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: nearly 4.5 million people are bit by dogs each year and 800,000 receive medical attention;
• Nearly half of those bitten are children;
• Children are not only more likely to be bitten by a dog but are also more likely to sustain severe injuries;
• Most dog bites happen during everyday activities while interacting with a familiar dog
• Any dog can bite, it is not a dog’s breed that determines whether or not it may bite. Bites occur because of a dog’s individual history and temperament.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
• As a reaction to a stressful or frightening situation
• To protect something valuable to them (food, puppies, home, person)
• Because they are hurt or not feeling well
Do Dogs Have Rabies?
• Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
• If a dog has not been vaccinated against rabies they are at risk of contracting rabies if exposed. According to the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, “(Wild) Foxes, especially in the North Slope and Southwest regions, are the most common transmitters of
rabies in Alaska.” There have been three cases of rabies-positive dogs transported from rural Alaska to Anchorage since 2017.
• Alaska state law mandates that a rabies vaccine must be given to all dogs, cats and ferrets which are over four months of age. Rabies vaccinations must be current for the issuance of health certificates, dog licenses and kennel licenses.
• The Municipality of Anchorage strongly recommends vaccinating dogs for rabies 30 days before transporting to the Municipality to prevent exposure to the residents and dogs of Anchorage.
What Does Anchorage Animal Care and Control do to Prevent Dog Bites and Prevent the Spread of Rabies?
• We teach elementary school students how to behave safely around dogs to prevent dog bites;
• We vaccinate all dogs adopted from AACC and lost dogs claimed by their owners at AACC;
• We offer a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic once a year;
• We investigate all reported instances of dog bites in the Municipality; and
• We enforce a 10-day quarantine, as per Municipal Code Title 17, when dog bites occur.