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Safety Tips

Most animals seem friendly and harmless, yet every year in the U.S. alone...

  • Over a million people are bitten;
  • Thousands of people are seriously injured; and
  • About 100 people are killed by these animals.

Select an area below to find out more.

Why do animals attack? There are many reasons. They may attack if they are:

  • protecting offspring, territory or children
  • threatened
  • in pain, injured or ill
  • surprised
  • bothered while eating
  • frustrated (they've been chained up)
  • teased
  • excited, nervous or "playing".

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Listed below are some steps you can take to avoid trouble when dealing with animals.

  • Do not go into yards or homes until you are sure all animals have been properly restrained.
  • Never approach or touch an unfamiliar or unfriendly animal.
  • Never tease or threaten any animal.
  • Call ahead and ask owners to restrain their pets.
  • Look for signs that an animal is around.
  • Do not surprise an animal -- let them know you are near.
  • Choose a safe route if you jog, walk or bike.
  • Keep a safe distance from shrubs, parked cars and other places where an animal may hide or sleep.
  • Stay away from stray animals and animal packs -- and places where they are likely to be found.

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How can you tell if an animal is dangerous?

In most cases there are warning signs. For example, with a dog you might notice:

  • an aggressive posture -- the ears are erect, the body is stiff or tense, and the tail is stiff or moving rapidly.
  • a fearful posture -- ears are back, the body is crouched with the head down, and the tail hangs down or is tucked between the legs.
  • Also watch for:
    • growling, snarling or snapping
    • staring straight ahead
    • bared teeth or curled lips
    • hair standing on end.

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If you are threatened by any animal:

  • Remain calm.
  • Face the animal -- DO NOT RUN.
  • Shield yourself with any item you have.
  • Do not make loud or threatening noises.
  • Do not look directly into the animals eyes.
  • Back out of the area (remember to face the animal, never turn your back to them).
  • Give firm, simple commands (No, Stop, etc.).

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If you are attacked by any animal:

  • Hold your ground.
  • Shield yourself with an object or use your arm if you do not have anything else to use as a shield.
  • If you are knocked down, curl up into a ball, protecting your head with your arms.
  • As a last resort, use a chemical spray.

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If you are bitten or scratched by any animal:

  • Wash the wound thoroughly.
  • Seek immediate medical help.
  • Remember as many details as possible.
  • Promptly report any incidents to the Animal Control Department.

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Copyright © 2012
Cumberland County, NC.
All Rights Reserved.
County Courthouse
117 Dick Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301