BATON ROUGE,LA (FOX44) — Each year capitol city animal control officers see over 300 animal bite cases.
“We've had children hit by a car because they were running away from an animal," said Hilton Cole, East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Director.
Only 1 in 10 animal bite cases get reported to animal control.
So, what do you do when a dangerous dog starts heading your way?
Cole said the first step is do not look the dog in the eye. Do not run unless you are a few yards from safety. "When you see that dog that's giving you the eye. The general idea is to back off slowly and try to get away from it. And report it to authorities as soon as possible," said Cole.
If you do get attacked there are some simple tricks you must know to stay safe. Adults should put their back up against a wall or car. Remain standing. Children should curl up to a fetal position, while covering your face and neck.
If an aggressive animal attacks your pet, Cole said try and get you and your pet out quickly and safely.
"If that's not working and the dog is killing your dog and you feel you have to protect your dogs life,” said Cole. “Than under law you are allowed to do what ever it takes to affect a termination of attack."
Debbie Pearson, director of the Companion Animal Alliance, deals with dangerous dogs everyday. Pearson says part of the problem is pet owners not researching dog breeds before they get a pet. That can be a big problem when it comes to adopting “bully breed” dogs like Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and German Sheppards.
“If they haven’t been exposed to other dogs and well trained; You have taken time to with them; they can be very dangerous animals,” said Pearson. “It's like a loaded gun without training in the hands of the wrong people."
One third of animals brought into the shelter are Pit Bulls. While not all Pit bulls are aggressive, Pearson said it’s how owners treat their dogs that is key.
"It's your responsibility to keep the mail man safe, the cats safe, the neighbors kids safe,” said Pearson. “You have to confine that dog it's your responsibility. "
" If you haven't socialized your dog with other dogs it’s not going to have appropriate behavior whether it's a Pit Bull or a Poodle," said Pearson.
Debbie Pearson said most owners of dangerous dogs do not come to claim the dog once it’s turned into the shelter. Most of those dangerous dogs are later put to sleep.