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What is responsibility?
Webster defines it as the quality or state of being responsible; as moral, legal, or mental accountability. Responsibility relating to pet ownership covers a wide range of topics and areas.
You have a responsibility to yourself to make an informed decision about adding a pet to your household. Different breeds of cats and dogs have different needs and personalities as well as maintenance requirements. Some birds need more handling and attention than others. How do you find the right match for you?
You have a responsibility to provide health care, food, shelter, training, exercise and most of all love. All this takes time and commitment. If you cannot provide basic needs for your pet then neither of you will be happy.
You have a responsibility to your community for you and your pet to be good neighbors and obey laws set in place for protection of animals, people and property.
We have numerous articles and websites linked here offering a wealth of information to help you be an informed and responsible animal owner.
A pet is for LIFE.
Are you ready for that commitment?
BITE PREVENTION AND STATISTICS
May I Pet Your Dog by Stephanie Calmenson. The how-to guide for kids meeting dogs (and dogs meeting kids).
Dogs bite kids. Why? Most often it is because children unknowingly demonstrate inappropriate behavior toward dogs that frightens or upsets them, and the dogs instinctively react to protect themselves. Many children have never been taught that there is a polite and safe way to approach and pet a dog. Many parents have never considered that children must be taught that correct behavior around pets matters.
Now we have been provided with a great tool to help us teach children just that skill. Stephanie Calmenson has written a children�s book that is a show-and-tell gem, whether it is read to toddlers by parents and educators, or read by somewhat older children by themselves.
Because the story is so charmingly and simply narrated by Harry, a real-life longhaired dachshund belonging to author Stephanie Calmenson, its very simplicity belies the actual import of the book's message. The clever illustrations beautifully emphasize the author's carefully chosen, profound words: "Ask the owner before greeting the dog. Pet gently. Big dogs and little dogs can be friends. Don't approach dogs who are not accompanied by an owner. Don't approach dogs whose owners say no. Stay away from dogs who are sleeping, eating, caring for puppies, chewing a bone, toy, or stick. Service dogs are working dogs who should not be petted when working."
Stephanie has written a slim (32 pages) easy-to-read mountain of information that is invaluable. Jan Ormerod has accompanied the text with the best teaching illustrations I have yet seen in any publication. Buy "MAY I PET YOUR DOG" or borrow it from your library and read it often. I have.
Dogs Bite, but Balloons and Slippers are More Dangerous. by Janis Bradley. Highly acclaimed book that brings logic and rationality to counter the hype of a dog-biting crisis in our nation.
Kids and dogs, a common sense approach.
Understanding dog bites; how they occur and how how to prevent them
Doggone safe. non-profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention
Bite Prevention Quiz
Dog Scouts - Dog Bite Prevention
Doberman and child encounter editorial by Margot Woods
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Bibliography of articles on dog bites
Insurance Information Institute. Dog Bite Liability.