Animal Bites

Facts about animal bites:
  • Every year in the United States, animals bite nearly five million people.
  • Almost one in five of those who are bitten require medical attention, half of these are children.
  • Most children who are bitten are between the ages of
    5 – 9. 
  • Male adults are more likely to be bitten than females.
How to avoid a bite:
  • Look for warning signs:
    • Aggressive: hackles up, growling or barking, ears erect, body stiff or tense, stiff-legged stance with tail held high and possibly moving rapidly.
    • Frightened: ears back, body crouched, head held low, and tail tucked between his legs.
  • Never touch or approach an animal you don't know to be friendly.
  • Never threaten or tease any animal.
  • Even a small dog or cat can inflict a painful bite.

To help teach children to be safe, download the Dog Bite Prevention Coloring Book (large file)

If you or someone you are with is bitten or scratched by an animal:
  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Apply a sterile dressing.
  • Seek immediate medical help. Ask the physician about a tetanus booster and/or rabies vaccination.
  • Remember as many details as possible. Write down a description of the animal, time and location of the incident and try to remember where the dog went (if it was not your own animal who inflicted the bite).
  • Anchorage law requires that all animal bites be reported to the Animal Care and Control. Call 343-8119 to make a report. The animal will need to be quarantined for rabies observation..