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Dogs (and cats) are required by law to be properly vaccinated and on a leash when not confined within one's property. It is a crime when animals that are not properly restrained menace and bite people.

How to avoid being bitten:

Don't run past a dog. The dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.

If a dog threatens you, don't scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, or, in a loud and low voice, tell the dog, "Go home.". Then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

Don't approach a strange dog, especially one that's tied or confined.

Avoid running past a dog or turning your back on a dog and running away. A dog's instinct is to chase and catch fleeing prey.

Always let a dog see and sniff you before you pet the animal.

How to be a responsible dog owner:

Spay or neuter your dog -- unneutered dogs are more likely to bite!

When your U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, Public Service meter reader or other service provider comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room or on a leash.

Don't let your child take mail from the letter carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog's instinct is to "protect" the family.

Obedience training can teach your dog proper behavior and help you control your dog in any situation.

To make a complaint regarding dog bites, loose or dangerous animals, call (303) 698-0076. The city animal shelter will come out and collect the animal or issue citations.

All dogs and cats, in the City and County of Denver, are required to be:

spayed or neutered
vaccinated for rabies annually
licensed annually
on a leash when not confined within your property

(For free information about dog bite prevention and responsible pet ownership, send a business-size self-addressed stamped envelope to: The Humane Society of the United States, Dept. D, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037-1525.)

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Last modified: June 28, 2000