For National Dog Bite Prevention Week® (April 8 -14),
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2018 – Every year more than 4.5 million Americans, more than half of them children, are bitten by dogs. As part of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® coalition, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, encourages adults to protect both children and dogs, and learn the importance of pet owner responsibility.
“Dogs are our best friends, providing love, comfort and protection,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “But it’s up to us humans to be good friends to them as well by protecting everyone around us – ourselves, our kids, and our dogs – from the dangers and consequences of dog bites.”
Dogs can bite for many reasons, including improper care and/or a lack of socialization. All dogs, even well-trained, gentle dogs, are capable of biting however when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Thus, even when a bite is superficial or classified as “provoked,” dogs may be abandoned or euthanized. Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep both children and dogs safe by preventing dog bites wherever possible.
�� “A dog bite can have a profound effect not only on the victim, but on the dog, who may be euthanized, and the dog’s owners who have to cope with the loss of a beloved family member,” said Dr. Kwane Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer for American Humane’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” program, speaking at the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition kick-off event in San Diego on April 5. “All those who have a canine companion need to make sure they know the steps they can take to prevent their dog from biting someone.”
To reduce the number of injuries to people and the risk of relinquishment of dogs who bite, American Humane offers the following suggestions:
For Dog Owners:
American Humane also offers a free online booklet available for families with children called “Pet Meets Baby,” providing valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet – or a new pet into a home with a child: http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/humane-education/pet-meets-baby.html.
Consider these statistics and tips provided by National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Coalition members:
|About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org today.
Saving America’s Vets and America’s Pets
New National Initiative by American Humane Seeks to Help Stem Tide of Veteran Suicide and Euthanasia of Shelter Animals
First Class of Highly Trained Service Animals Graduates, Helps Give Veterans and Veterans’ Families Their Lives Back, While Providing a Second Chance to Abandoned Dogs
American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs has launched a new initiative to harness the healing powers of the human-animal bond to help our brave veterans and more of America’s beautiful, adoptable animals. Every day, 20 veterans struggling with the invisible wounds of war take their own lives, and 670,000 dogs are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year. Vast anecdotal evidence and a growing body of scientific research show that specialized PTS and TBI service dogs can offer life-changing—and often lifesaving—support to affected veterans. However, there are obstacles standing in the way for veterans in need of service dogs: Waiting lists are long and the training process is time-consuming and expensive, costing upwards of $30,000 per dog.
To help begin turning the tide of veteran suicide and save the lives of more adoptable animals facing an uncertain future, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, is announcing the first graduating class of service dogs and retired warriors in its new national “Shelter to Service” program. The initiative rescues shelter dogs and specially trains them to become lifesaving service animals for military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). American Humane’s new canine training center provides specialized PTS and TBI service dogs to veterans in need, at no cost to the recipient.
American Humane is introducing the first class of service dog graduates at the Hamptons, Long Island home of philanthropists Jewel and Robert Morris amid a sea of some 200 humanitarian and celebrity advocates for America’s veterans and animals, including country star and longtime supporter of the military Naomi Judd, NHL star Matt Martin, former PepsiCo Restaurants International CEO Tim Lane, Hallmark Channels President and CEO Bill Abbott, New York City socialite Jean Shafiroff, and many others.
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, said: “As an organization that has worked for more than a century to help both these groups, American Humane was compelled to provide help and healing, and created a nationwide model based on our development of the country’s first national training standards to help ensure veterans an adequate quantity as well as quality of lifesaving service dogs.” Veterans now face wait times of a dangerously unacceptable 18- to 24-months.
“With 20 veterans committing suicide each day and PTSD cases continuing to increase at alarming rates in the veterans community, it is unconscionable that we have not been taking advantage of every possible mechanism to reverse this horrific tragedy,” said internationally renowned philanthropist and American Humane board member Lois Pope. “It is equally tragic that hundreds of thousands of dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. Given that it is well-known that dogs have an indelible connection with humans and have served as therapy and service companions for people with physical and emotional afflictions for so many years, the Shelter to Service initiative is a perfect solution to both problems. That is why I’m pleased that through the Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs, American Humane has pioneered and is taking the national lead on partnering veterans with shelter canines in order to help them heal from the invisible wounds of war.”
American Humane began working with the U.S. military more than 100 years ago when they deployed to the battlefields of World War I Europe to rescue more than 68,000 wounded war horses every month. Following World War II they advanced the field of animal-assisted therapy to help returning veterans cope with the invisible wounds of war, and aided children of military families during their parents’ deployments. Recently, they helped change the law to make sure we bring our military hero dogs home to U.S. soil when their service to our country is finished. They also work to reunite these four-footed warriors with their former handlers, and provide them with free specialized healthcare so they can enjoy the happy and healthy retirement they deserve. This newest initiative seeks to save the lives of more veterans, as well as those of abandoned, adoptable animals.
Program Made Possible by Committed Friends and Generous Sponsors
American Humane’s Shelter to Service program has been made possible thanks to a wide range of committed supporters and generous sponsors, including, among many others, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Zoetis, Hallmark Channel, NCR Foundation, Banfield Foundation, Adtalem Foundation, Kriser’s Natural Pet, Matt Martin Foundation, Door Automation Corp., Kyrus Charities, Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, The Philly Pack, Monster Energy, Marta Heflin Foundation, Red River Charitable Foundation, Nora Roberts Family Foundation, All About Dogs, LLC, and Merck Animal Health. American Humane is grateful to all of them. Without their support, this program would not be possible.
“I am so pleased to be supporting their newest effort to save America’s vets and America’s pets by pairing our retired warriors with trained service dogs who are themselves rescues from shelters,” said country singer, longtime military supporter, and American Humane board member Naomi Judd. “In this way, we can save lives on both ends of one healing leash.”
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org.
Presented by the American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs;
Formal announcement at the sixth annual Hero Dog Awards® on September 10th
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2016 – There are some 2,700 dogs currently in active military service and about 700 who have been deployed overseas, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Like the many thousands who served in the military dating back to World War I, these courageous canines provide comfort and companionship to our troops, detect explosive devices, carry out life-saving tasks, search areas that cannot be accessed by soldiers themselves, do sentry and scout work, and even shield soldiers from flying bullets -- it is widely estimated that each military dog saves the lives of up to 150-200 service men and women. Just as with our human warriors, these dogs get injured, even killed, in combat; many suffer emotional and psychological consequences of war, such as post-traumatic stress. But, for the most part, military dogs have not been given the credit due to them for their heroic acts on and off the battlefield.
Nationally prominent philanthropist Lois Pope and American Humane are setting out to change this and bestow upon them the honor they deserve. They are launching a coast-to-coast effort to design the first American Military Hero Dog Monument, calling on professional and amateur artists, sculptors, designers, veterans, and even ordinary people to conceive of a permanent physical tribute honoring all military dogs for their valor. When completed, the monument will be the first of its kind in Washington, D.C.
The effort will be formally announced at the sixth annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards® on September 10th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California.
“Dating back to the early part of the 20th Century and the service of America’s original hero war dog, Sergeant Stubby, dogs have served valiantly alongside our troops in wars and conflicts around the globe,” said Mrs. Pope. “While a handful of these animals have been decorated, it is time that a monument forever sits in our nation’s capital to honor them for their heroism. At the same time, we want this monument to educate people of the essential roles that dogs have undertaken in service to America and to remind us that bravery in uniform comes on both four and two legs.”
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, added, "Soldiers have been relying on these four-footed comrades-in-arms since the beginning of organized warfare and today military dogs are more important than ever in keeping our service men and women safe. At American Humane, which has been working with the U.S. military and military animals for 100 years, we feel it is time to recognize and honor the extraordinary feats and acts of devotion these heroic animals perform every day.”
The national design search will operate under the aegis of American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs. Endowed by Mrs. Pope in 2015, the Center is the first of its kind in the world and comprises an array of treatment, support and research programs and services that help military K-9 teams on and off the battlefield -- facilitating reunions of military dogs and handlers, sending vitally needed care packages to active duty military dog teams; providing veterinary care for retired war dogs; helping returning veterans cope with the hidden wounds of war by providing them with service dogs; conducting groundbreaking research on the important role these service dogs play; and helping children and families of deployed parents with animal-assisted therapy teams.
Earlier this year, Mrs. Pope and American Humane created the American Humane Lois Pope LIFE K-9 Medal of Courage, an honor conferred upon military hero dogs who have performed extraordinary service for our country. The inaugural four recipients were honored at a ceremony on Capitol Hill attended by dozens of members of Congress and top military leaders.
The American Military Hero Dog Monument design search is open to all U.S. citizens. Interested parties must submit their designs online via www.Americanhumane.org/military-dog-monument by December 31, 2016. A panel of distinguished judges will choose the finalists, whose designs will be unveiled at the American Humane’s annual Palm Beach luncheon on March 8, 2017.America will then have the opportunity to weigh in on the finalists’ designs. Mrs. Pope and American Humane have sole rights to approve, reject and select design submissions.
The winner, if able and approved by American Humane and Mrs. Pope, may be commissioned to sculpt the monument. Otherwise, an artist will be appropriated a commission to skillfully craft the designed monument. The American Military Hero Dog Monument will be unveiled in Washington, D.C. at a location and date to be determined.
About the Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs
Lois Pope’s commitment to veterans and animals is embodied in her endowment of the Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs under the aegis of American Humane Association. The Center, the first of its kind in the world, comprises an array of treatment, support and research programs and services to cement the bond between the two- and four-legged heroes who have served in our country’s Armed Forces. The Center is the latest manifestation of her leadership on behalf of American Humane Association; she is also the presenting sponsor of the annual American Hero Dog Awards.
About American Humane
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org.