HomeMiami NewsIncrease in dog bite incidents in Miami-Dade County prompts Animal Services Department...

Increase in dog bite incidents in Miami-Dade County prompts Animal Services Department to initiate prevention campaign


Miami, Florida – The Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department is taking proactive steps to address and prevent dog bites within the community, following a noticeable increase in reported incidents. With animal bites on the rise, the department emphasizes the importance of responsible pet ownership and public awareness to mitigate these occurrences.

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Rising Concern Over Dog Bites

Data from the Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department shows a troubling trend in the number of reported animal bites by humans. From January 1 through December 31, 2022, the county saw 2,031 incidents, which increased to 2,167 reports during the same timeframe in 2023, marking an increase of 136 reported incidents or a 0.06% rise in animal bites. Continuing into 2024, there have already been 253 reported dog bites to humans. This upward trajectory mirrors a national concern, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that about 4.5 million dog bites occur annually in the United States. These bites can lead to severe injuries and, in some cases, fatalities, with pet owners potentially facing liability for these incidents.

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To counteract this trend, Miami-Dade Animal Services is advocating for both pet owners and the public to adopt measures aimed at preventing dog bites. Annette Jose, the Animal Services Director, expressed the department’s commitment to community safety and responsible pet care, stating, “We hope that by sharing these helpful tips on dog bite prevention, we can help prevent injuries and promote positive interactions between people and pets.”

Prevention Tips for the Community

The department has outlined several safety tips to reduce the likelihood of dog bite incidents:

  • Avoid interacting with dogs that are loose, behind fences, or showing signs of distress such as cowering, barking, or growling.
  • Remain calm and still if approached by an unknown dog, and do not run or scream.
  • Always ask the dog’s owner for permission before attempting to pet an unfamiliar dog.
  • Let the dog sniff your closed hand before gently petting its shoulders or chest, avoiding the top of the head.
  • Never place your face close to a dog’s face.
  • Supervise interactions between children and dogs, teaching children to respect the dog’s space.
  • Keep dogs on leashes in public spaces, as required by Miami-Dade County law.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain fencing to ensure pets are securely contained.
  • Post clear signage on your property to alert others to the presence of dogs.
  • Exercise caution when entering or exiting your home to prevent pets from escaping.

These guidelines are part of a broader effort to foster safer interactions between people and pets, ensuring the wellbeing of both the community and its animal members. For more details on how to engage with pets safely and responsibly, Miami-Dade residents are encouraged to visit the Animal Services website or contact the department directly.

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