Killing Dogs After Bites Promotes Injuries, Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council Founder Melissa Berryman Advises

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Killing dogs after bite injuries ignores critical changes in human behavior needed to produce meaningful prevention of future bites advises Melissa Berryman of The Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council

Dogs can't read the sign. Only the person's reaction to it.

Current dog bite prevention strategies are outdated and useless because they don't encourage meaningful prevention.

Selectmen in Mansfield, Massachusetts voted 3-2 Wednesday night to euthanize a pointer hound mix named Milo that bit a 6-year-old neighbor boy, resulting in surgery and 400 stitches. Board Chairman Olivier Kozlowski said selectmen considered the safety of the community but conceded the decision was difficult. Dog owner Michael Bailey now has 10 days to file an appeal of the decision in district court.

Former animal officer and founder of the Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council (DOECSC), Melissa Berryman advises that killing the dog actually promotes dog bite injuries. "Parents have a false sense that children will be safe if the offending dog is killed. We only condemn people to repeat the same bite inducing mistakes when there is no focus on why the event occurred and no action is taken to change human behavior."

Berryman sees the very act of hugging dogs as evidence. "Dogs don't hug to show love, affection and support. We flagrantly disregard that dogs don't hug period. If an inferior (often children) hugs a dog, dogs see it as a challenge to their status. The child's face is next to the dog's mouth when the dog becomes compelled to tell the child to stop. Yet the MSPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and other animal groups use photos of kids hugging dogs to promote their work. Continuing to respond by killing dogs will never stop people from hugging them. It is that cycle that is vicious."

Berryman founded DOECSC in order to provide defensive driving type solutions for municipalities that promote prevention and enhance safety in their communities. "Insurers could easily decrease injuries by offering policy incentives when owners participate in our safety program as well. Not only is there a lack of awareness of how much of our actions cause problems but there is currently no reason to prevent injuries. When we stop using dogs as the scapegoats for our lack of knowledge, we will see significant decreases in injuries and will save countless dogs."

Berryman is also the author of People Training for Good Dogs-What Breeders Don't Tell You and Trainers Don't Teach and owner of the People Training for Good Dogs instruction and care facility in Falmouth, MA.

The Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council provides solutions for communities, tools and instruction to help sensible owners enhance their relationships with their pet and trauma assistance for bite sufferers. Published author and former animal officer Melissa Berryman is a trusted media resource on community safety, dog owner liability, dog care, instruction and owner support. She has spent years working with animal organizations, dog owners and dog bite victims. To see what The Dog Owner Education and Community Safety Council can do for you please log on to DOECSC.

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