"Do What's Right, Avoid the Bite!"
A Lee County, Florida Dog Bite Prevention Program
Trusty, the Lee County Domestic Animal Services mascot, is here to help you prevent dog bites. Over 1,000 animal bite cases are reported each year to the Department of Health (DOH) in Lee County, and approximately 10% of persons reporting bite cases receive post-exposure rabies vaccination recommendations. Thirty-four rabid animals were diagnosed in Lee County from 2000 through 2017, representing approximately two cases/year. Raccoons, bats and cats are the top three animals diagnosed with rabies. Other than rabies, animal bites & scratches can transfer a variety of bacteria and viruses to people, as well as potentially cause disfigurement, psychological trauma, fear of animals, increase insurance costs and result in work loss costs.
From 2013 through 2015, the following information was collected from animal incident reports submitted to the DOH in Lee County:
- Seventy-five percent of domestic animal incidents were from dogs and twenty-five percent were from cats.
- Most dogs involved in bite cases were owned and most cats were considered strays.
- Most animals in bite cases had an unknown rabies vaccination status or had never received a rabies vaccination.
- Most dog bite reports occurred in children up to 11 years of age. Most dog bites occurred by a dog familiar to the child, owned by the child's family or family members.
- Most head and neck wounds from dogs occurred in victims under the age of 11.
Thanks to a 2017-2018 Community Impact Grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Lee County Domestic Animal Services will educate the public with a focus on elementary schools in the county, as well as provide and dissemination information on preventing animal bites with the help of Trusty, our mascot. The following steps will allow you to prevent dog bites and help teach your friends and family how to avoid these too!
Take the pledge by clicking on Trusty's picture to help prevent dog bites!
By following Trusty's steps and with his guidance, you can learn & teach others how to prevent dog bites.
- Teach yourself and others how to avoid dog bites.
- Respect all dogs.
- Understand signs that a dog may bite.
- Safety around dogs will prevent a bite.
- Think before you act around a dog.
- You can help prevent dog bites.
Do not forget to take Trusty's pledge to "Do What's Right, Avoid the Bite!"