November 5, 2003, VANCOUVER – The recent series of dog bite tragedies drive home the need for more education for children, parents, and dog owners. The Humane Society of Canada believes we need to street proof our children against aggressive dogs, and require dog owners to spay and neuter their pets and to take their dogs to obedience classes.


“While most of the six million dogs in Canada never bite anyone, we estimate that someone suffers a dog bite in Canada every 60 seconds,” says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director.

To reduce these tragedies, The Humane Society of Canada has conducted a national campaign aimed at educating adults and children about how they can prevent dog bites.

“A series of ads alerting people to the issue of dog bites have been placed in transit shelters, magazines and newspapers across Canada,” says Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Executive Director. “These ads were created by TAXI, an award-winning advertising agency and they encourage people to share their concerns with governments and to obtain more information on dog bite prevention at the HSC website.”

The Humane Society of Canada’s website contains some of the most practical and comprehensive information pertaining to dog bite prevention awareness. The HSC was called as an expert witness to give evidence in the coroner’s inquest into the death of Courtney Trempe. Visitors to the HSC website can access the “National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign” section and learn about such things as street proofing tips for parents, tips for dog owners and tips for children. People can also contact the charity and they will mail or fax additional information.

“Dogs provide us with so many positive things,” says O’Sullivan. “They enrich our lives in so many ways. Unfortunately a few irresponsible breeders and owners combined with a public that is uneducated when it comes to dog bite prevention results in tragic consequences that affects dogs and people everywhere. Children and dogs are placed at risk, and yet by simply learning the dog bite prevention basics we can drastically reduce the number of dog bites that occur.”

7 Simple Ways to Help Reduce Dog Bites

  • Spay or neuter your dog
  • Take your dog to dog obedience classes
  • Contact elected officials in local, provincial and federal government and tell them you want taxpayer funded support for a sustained multimedia street proofing campaign that becomes a part of every school’s curriculum
  • Learn about dog bite prevention
  • Educate your children about how they can avoid being bitten by dogs
  • Encourage your children’s teachers to address the issue of dog bites
  • Download the dog bite posters from our website and distribute them


“Children and dogs are at risk in our communities and we need to do everything we can to help them,” says O’Sullivan.


CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.