By Sara Kirkley, Weekend Anchor / Reporter - email
Animal Control has a warning for parents after a spike in dog bites in Grand Island.
They've taken nine reports in two days, none severe.
"Kids are home. Doors are getting left open. We're riding bikes. It's hot, everybody's cranky," said Laurie Dethloff, Central Nebraska Humane Society executive director.
CNHS is warning parents to check the routes their kids are using.
"We're going to want you looking for any size dog, how that fence looks. If the leash that they're on lets them get to the sidewalk, give us a call. They're not supposed to have access to anything that's public property," said Dethloff.
If you do get attacked, experts say your instincts may work against you.
"You really need to stay calm, not scream and not run. You can yell, but you have to yell in an assertive voice," said Dethloff.
Dethloff adds, don't look an agitated dog directly in the eye. She said if you're on a bike, use it as a shield.
"If you're sticking your leg out, sticking your arm out, it's also posing a threat to the dog which is going to now feel threatened," said Guy Skodmin, G.I. Animal Control officer.
It's also giving the animal something to clamp on to.
If the dog continues to attack, Dethloff has these suggestions:
"Make sure that your hands are in a fist position. Get your arms over your head, protect your ears, your neck. Get your legs up underneath you. All of those loose extremities are going to be protected the more that you can ball up," she said.
If you are bitten, medical experts say make sure your vaccines are up to date and the wound is cleaned well.
"They can get a pretty bad infection just because if they get bit by a dog or cat they have a lot of bacteria on their teeth," said Julie Hatch, Physicians Urgent Care nurse practitioner. "We just want to make sure that we're getting rid of that bacteria and that infection doesn't spread to make them really sick."
"Statistics show that 40 percent of children under the age of 14 are going to be bit, and of that 40 percent, half of those will get an infection," said Dethloff.
If your dog is the biter, it will likely be monitored for 10 days after the bite.
If you don't have current rabies vaccinations, that could get expensive. Dethloff said that will run you $250 in Grand Island.