What can you do to help prevent dog and cat bites?

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Bev Greco, Executive Director, South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter
| Vineland Daily Journal


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Animals are regularly confiscated in the animal shelter because they have bitten a person or another animal.

There are many circumstances that can cause a dog or cat to bite someone: fear, injury, danger from strangers, and guarding food or toys are the most common reasons. Often times, these bites do not affect the pet’s owners, but are more likely to target people who do not live in their home. Visiting children, deliverers, court attendants, etc. can put a dog in an increased state of anxiety, which can lead to seemingly unprovoked attacks.

But when you consider the nature of dogs and their instinctive urge to protect their “pack”, it makes sense.

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For example, if they see that a visiting child with a child from their own family is harshly housed, they may interpret this as a danger to their pack member. Sometimes dogs are very protective of a particular person in the household and may react poorly when someone else, even another household member, gets near their chosen human companion. An animal in pain might snap when touched. A sleeping animal might snap when startled.

The list of precursors goes on, and it’s important to take preventative measures and know what to do if a bite occurs.

Let’s start by knowing your pet’s nature. Are you tense and generally suffering from anxiety? Are you afraid of “foreign danger”? Are you prone to aggression towards food, chews, toys, or your bedding?

Being aware of these things can help prevent bites by controlling situations that could end badly. In most of these scenarios there are training methods and / or other therapies that can help overcome these behaviors and reactions or at least keep them at a manageable level. Talk to your veterinarian and a reputable trainer for guidance on these behaviors.

Unfortunately, things happen and when a dog or cat results in stab wounds, be it a human or another animal, it is important that the victim receive medical attention. These types of wounds are prone to infection and should be treated by a doctor or veterinarian to determine treatment.

If a bite of this magnitude occurs, the animal must be detained either at your home or in a facility such as the animal shelter for 10 days, as determined by your local health department.

Keeping your pets informed of their rabies vaccine is extremely important as the 10 day detention is based on the risk of rabies infection; Aside from keeping your pet and those they come in contact with, this is a government requirement and can result in fines if not kept up to date.

Every time an animal breaks its skin, you should wash it thoroughly and immediately disinfect it. As all pet owners know, even playing with cats and dogs can cause scratches and pinches. Know your pet and what could trigger it. Keep your dog securely leashed or caged when he or she is out and about. Carry deterrents, such as pepper spray, with you when walking your dog where other animals can be a hazard. Watch out for other people’s pets while in their area.

Finally stay healthy!

Protection requirement: The shelter urgently needs dry kitten and cat food without coloring agents.

The shelter also needs canned dog food, hot dogs, canned chicken and tuna, cat litter, hand sanitizer, and gift cards for grocery stores and pet supplies.

Shelter events: The shelter will host low-cost vaccination clinics from July 10, August 21, September 18 and October 16, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Please make sure that dogs have very secure collars and short leashes; Cats must be in a transport box. If you need anything to secure your pet, please notify the car park attendant when you drive in. We can provide this to you before you take your pet out of the car.

Appointments are possible. Visit sjras.org to make an appointment.

The cost is $ 20 for each vaccine. Microchips and flea and tick prevention will also be available.

Address of the animal shelter: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

To submit an adoption form for one of the pets of the week or other animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/forms/adoption-questionnaire.

If you’d like to volunteer, email the volunteer coordinator at Volunteers@sjras.org.

For SJRAS information, call (856) 691-1500 or visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or SJRASVineland on Facebook.


Ricky rick is beautiful and shinier than black velvet! She is a wonderful girl who would be a great addition to your family.

Snowflake want to be the coolest new member of your family.

Louie is a breathtaking big boy! He is cute and adorable and would make a wonderful pet.

Kittens and kittens and more kittens! The shelter has a lot of kittens. Visit and meet some of the kitties available to find the perfect one for you.

To the is a super handsome guy who would appreciate an opportunity to convince you to adopt him.

Fuzzy is a big, cute boy waiting to join a family.


Koco, a 5 year old Chihuahua, loves women … not men so much! He is ready to move in and wants to be your number one!

Dixie is a 1 year old pit bull terrier is a young, pretty, sweet lady who is looking for a quiet home. She is a little shy in new situations. But once she’s comfortable, she’s very cute and affectionate. She walks nicely on a leash. It is not suitable for a home with active young children.

Simon is a handsome 2 year old pit bull terrier who is waiting and hoping for a loving home forever. He’s a big, friendly sweetheart!

Dudley is an adorable 9 year old beagle. He’s a friendly little guy who loves goodies!

Molly is a lovely 5 year old Pit Bull Terrier. She would love to be your new best friend.

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