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New simple effort adopted to prevent dog bites

For the most part, dogs are loyal, lovable and playful companions. They welcome us when we get home, keep us warm on cold winter days and make going for walks a bit more enjoyable. But no matter how loved dogs are, people of all ages also need to understand that they are animals and may not always respond with the friendliness they'd expect.

Dogs are animals. That's an obvious statement but still a crucial point for people to understand. We might not always understand the way that they perceive and respond to things. Sadly, it is often kids who are in danger of becoming dog bite victims. At one out-of-state public park, safety advocates are trying something new to protect people from dog bites.

A new sign has been put up in a public Michigan park. Dog owners often bring their pets to the park, but parents also bring their kids to the park. That can be a dangerous combination if people are not educated in how to safely approach and read dogs.

The sign is made up of more visuals than text, showing what a dog might look like when he is upset and, therefore, more likely to respond with violence. Parents are encouraged to educate their children by referring to the sign and teaching them those danger cues and also how to responsibly address a dog that they might meet at the park.

While it is helpful for kids and any dog lovers to understand the safety risks and rules, dog owners shouldn't put the responsibility of preventing dog attacks on others. It is actually dog owners who carry the most responsibility to supervise and leash their dogs. If they believe that their dog poses a safety risk to others, they must take the steps to prevent an attack or they risk the chance of being targeted by a personal injury lawsuit by someone who was injured by their pet.

What do you think about the dog safety signs? Should Wisconsin parks put them to use? Would they make a difference by preventing dog attacks?

Source: Daily Press, "Officials install dog awareness sign at Ludington Park," Jenny Lancour, Nov. 27, 2012

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