In 2017, National Dog Bite Prevention Week will take place April 9-15.
The National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition announced a permanent change of dates for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s long running National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Traditionally held during the third full week of May, the program will now be held during the second full week of April.
“It is never too early to prevent dog bites,” said Dr. Tom Meyer, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Moving up the time frame to the early warm days of spring expands our opportunity to work with schools and communities to educate children on how to stay safe with and around dogs.”
Knowing that dogs provide companionship, joy and real health benefits to millions of families across the nation, the AVMA, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and State Farm Insurance created the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition to protect the important bond between people and their dogs. Because any dog can bite, education and responsible pet ownership are key.
In addition to potential physical and emotional injury, dog bites can be costly. Over the past decade, State Farm has paid nearly $1 billion for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog. In 2015, the USPS recorded 6,549 bites to their carriers. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.
“Most dogs bring us great joy, but it is our responsibility to make sure they are good neighbors,” said Dr. Meyer. “By following a few simple dog bite prevention tips, you can keep your pup happy and healthy.”
Members of the 2017 National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition include the American Veterinary Medical Association, United States Postal Service, State Farm Insurance, American Humane Association, Insurance Information Institute, and Positively®, Victoria Stilwell.
Watch for the National Dog Bite Prevention Week press conference held on Thursday, April 6, featuring:
- Demonstrations by veterinary specialists on dog bite prevention
- Release of the number of postal carriers bitten in 2016
- Announcement of the average cost of dog bite claims nationally in 2016 as well as the top 10 states with the largest number of dog bite claims in the U.S.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 89,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.