Ask Hopeful Henry: Do your part to prevent dog bites |

Ask Hopeful Henry: Do your part to prevent dog bites

Dear Hopeful: I was bit by a dog, not badly but it did break skin. Do I need to report the bite? Thanks, Lynn.

Dear Lynn: Good question and since it’s “National Dog Bite Prevention Week” I’m going to give you a little more that a yes or no answer.

First all dog bites should be reported to The El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. Even if it is your own dog and especially if you do not know the dog. Once the report has been filed the dogs owner will be required to quarantine the dog for 10 days. This quarantine can be done in the home of the dog owner. If the dog is a stray, Animal Services will catch the dog and quarantine the dog at there facility. The purpose for quarantining the dog is to determine if the dog is free of disease. Regardless of situation you also should seek medical treatment especially if you do not know if the dog is current with its vaccinations. You may need a series of shots to prevent infection or possible rabies.

In the future follow these steps to help avoid a dog bite.

Keep your distance from dogs you don’t know. Allow dogs to investigate you before you touch them. Be gentle, don’t play rough with a dog. Let sleeping dogs lie. Don’t rouse a dog that is sleeping. In addition, avoid disturbing dogs while they’re feeding, chewing on a bone or chew toy or caring for their puppies. Stay away from mad dogs. If a dog growls, bears its teeth and wrinkles its nose in a snarl, or if the hair on a dog’s back is raised, keep away. Stand your ground. Don’t run away from a dog, especially a threatening one. Stand still if the dog appears ready to attack you keep your hands close to your sides with your fingers curled in to prevent getting them bitten. Avoid eye contact with a dog. Don’t look a strange dog directly in the eyes, they may see this as a challenge. Teach children how to act around dogs and don’t leave them unattended with dogs. As much as you may want to don’t HUG dogs. Dogs do not hug each other. Dogs mount each other to mate, show dominance, or try to get a reaction from another dog. Hugging a dog could get a reaction you do not want, a nip or a bite. Hugging a dog is rude. It is much kinder and more polite to simply stand there, or stroke the friendly dog under the chin. Be careful when moving an injured dog. A dog may lash out even if it is friendly when hurt. If you are helping move an injured dog put on heavy gloves and coat to protect yourself. Also covering a dogs head with a coat or shirt might help to prevent the dog from seeing you and aid in blocking a bite. Be careful when splitting up dog that are fighting. Do not physically touch the dogs rather spray with a hose. If the fight is not to serious, human breath spray (Listerine or Binaca) is disgusting to most dogs, but not harmful. If you have to touch them, grab them by the hind legs to pull them apart. Don’t touch near the collars, head or shoulders. If the situation is extreme contact 911. Thank you, Hopeful Henry.

Dear Henry: I read your article last week about the dog poop problem, I am so happy you have made it your mission to help clean up the poop in South Lake Tahoe. There is a person (actually many people) in my neighborhood that just let there dogs poop any where. One actually lets there dog go right in front of my mail box. I have said some thing to them but they deny it and just keep on doing it. Any suggestions on what I can do. I don’t want to report it using my name as I am worried about retaliation. Thank you, Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: Thank you for writing in, it is sad (but I understand) that you actually feel you’ll get some sort of retaliation for reporting a chronic poop offender causing you enough fear that you do not want to file a report. It absolutely amazes me that people think this is OK. Obviously you tried the polite approach and got no cooperation from the perpetrator. But do not worry there is still some thing you can do. First always report issue like this to The El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. You do not have to worry about angry neighbors retaliating as Animal Service never gives out the names of those who file reports. If you are still concerned call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society at 530-542-2857 and file a complaint with them. The more information you can provide the better, an address of the perpetrator is most important. Just providing a general area makes it harder to handle the situation, where as if you can provide an address they can send some one out to help with the situation. This makes it easier to get video of the offense so it can be turned into The Eldorado County Animal Services, from there a report can be filed and with video proof some thing will be done. We are not joking about this problem and will take it very seriously. Every complaint will be followed up with.

Hoping this was helpful: Hopeful Henry

You can submit your questions or letters via email to or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe CA 96158. The Lake Tahoe Humane Society and S.P.C.A. now has a Facebook page so stop by and check it out at you can also become a Facebook friend of HopefulHenry at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User