May 18, 2005, VANCOUVER – May 15-21 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) would like people to take the time to learn about dog bite prevention.


According to HSC Western Regional Director Al Hickey, National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a good time for parents and teachers to educate children about dogs, canine behaviour and how to avoid being bitten by "man's best friend."

"Dog bites are a serious issue," says Hickey. "But many bites can be prevented if children are informed about dogs, dog behaviour and how to act around dogs," states Hickey who was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA for more than 17 years and who has 6 grandchildren. "The Humane Society of Canada is a leader in the field of dog bite prevention and has created considerable information that parents, teachers and other educators can use to teach children how to protect themselves from dog bites."

HSC Executive Director Michael O'Sullivan acknowledges that dogs and dog bites have been frequently in the media during the last year and says that this exposure has both its benefits and its drawbacks.

"The media exposure during the past year emphasizes that much work needs to be done pertaining to socializing and training dogs, teaching people about dog bite prevention and canine behaviour as well as implementing practical initiatives involving dogs at the various levels of government. But it also sensationalizes and exaggerates the problem of aggressive dogs," states O'Sullivan.

According to O'Sullivan, "Most of the more than six million dogs in Canada will never bite anyone and these animal companions provide numerous benefits to their guardians and communities. Unfortunately, many of the vital benefits provided by dogs are not acknowledged or go unnoticed."

To reduce the number of dog bites, The Humane Society of Canada has made its Dog Bite Awareness Campaign a major priority and has posted considerable information on their website including the problem, the solution, tips for children, tips for guardians of dogs as well as tips for parents. The charity hopes that by making this information easily accessible, parents, teachers and others will become educated about dog bite prevention and take the time to pass this information along to others – particularly children. This information is available at Dog Bite Awareness Page or by calling, toll-free, 1-800-641-KIND (5463).

Over the years the Humane Society of Canada was worked with the award-winning ad agency TAXI, placing advertisements in transit shelters, magazines and newspapers across Canada.

The animal charity has also developed a 15 point action plan to prevent dog bites called “Saving Lives: The Humane Society of Canada's Action Plan to Prevent Dog Bites” which can be found here. “However, the response from politicians at all levels of government has been either nonexistent or misdirected. They have repeatedly ignored our pleas to help us save the lives of people and dogs,” said 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.

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