The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 4.7 million people per year are bit by a dog. In case you, a friend or family member are attacked, here are some steps you should take:
1. Identify the animal. If you can’t ID the animal to confirm it is rabid, you will have to get rabies shots.
2. If you are attending to someone who was bit and the dog is still present, advise everyone nearby to remain motionless so you won’t provoke another attack.
3. Once the area is safe, asses the wound.
4. Wash the wound gently with warm water and soap.
5. Apply direct pressure to the area of the bite to stop any further bleeding.
6. Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
7. Keep the site of the bite above heart level to slow swelling and prevent infection.
8. Seek immediate medical attention.
9. Report the bite to your local animal control office or police department. Don’t take the owner’s word for it that the animal’s shots were current. You don’t want to risk rabies.
10. Seek legal advice to confirm what rights you, your friends or family have in this situation.