Monday, October 29, 2012

Dog Bite Prevention in Liberia

by Morris Darbo

Students in Liberia holding the Be a Tree kit posters

Dog bite has been a serious concern in Foya District since the end of the war in 2003. In 2008, there was a mass killing of dogs in Foya as means of curtailing the spread of rabies and addressing the issue of dog bite in the District. This method failed to eliminate the spread of rabies or even significantly reduce dog bite cases in the district. Foya District is bordering with Guinea and Sierra Leone. There has always been an influx of unvaccinated dogs from those countries. The presence of large number of strange dogs in the districts has also been a threat in controlling dog bite.

Every year, there has been report of two or more deaths as the result of dog bite.  Children have been the main victims. In May, 2012, the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society in partnership with Doggone Safe Canada took up the task to educate children in Foya District on dog bite prevention. The Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society visited 10 schools and 4 communities with the education program. 15,520 children were educated on dog bite prevention. In August, we visited the hospital in Foya to ascertain the number of dog bites since our intervention with the education program.

We were told by the hospital that since May, there has been no report of a dog bite case in the hospital.
We at the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society want to extend our thanks and appreciation to Doggone Safe Canada for their support in empowering LAWCS to reach large number of children in the society. Our dog bite prevention program also ensures that today`s children grow up with compassion, empathy and respect for their dogs, as well as each other. We encourage compassion and responsible behavior toward dogs, as well as inspiring them to make a difference.

Morris Darbo is the founder and executive director of LAWCS and Doggone Safe Co-ordinator for Liberia

Visit the LAWCS website

Friday, October 26, 2012

Doggone Crazy! Board Game Give Away

Doggone Safe is giving away a case of 6 Doggone Crazy! board games to 11 non-profits to help educate kids and families about dog body language and safety around dogs. Eligible non-profits include dog shelters, rescue and animal control, child welfare organizations and schools (North America only).

The entry period ends on Oct 29, 2012 at midnight Eastern Daylight Time.

Who Needs Doggone Crazy?        

Everyone who wants to play, have fun, and laugh out loud with their friends and family! That's who! Doggone Crazy! is a "barking good time" - New York Post Holiday Gift Guide (Dec 18, 2003).
"Doggone Crazy! is the first board game in a long time to keep my kids attention...they played the game so much that I wasn't allowed to touch the game for review until the week-end was over." - Alyice Edrich - Editor-in-Chief - The Dabbling Mum - National Parenting Magazine
What is Doggone Crazy?

Doggone Crazy! is the first ever board game to empower kids with the knowledge they need to make safe choices around dogs. Kids can be doggy detectives, trying to figure out what the dogs are saying with their body language in the more than 100 photo cards. Created by dog experts, this unique game is loads of fun for kids and families. Parents and grandparents are choosing Doggone Crazy! for family play and educational value. Doggone Crazy! is for families with dogs and families who encounter other people's dogs. Even dog savvy parents have said "I didn't know that!" after learning about subtle and little-known dog communication signals from the photo cards in the game. Kids just say "We all have fun!!".
"This game makes it fun for children to learn how to behave toward dogs, and how to understand what dog expressions and actions mean. It's a positive and reinforcing tool for enhancing child safety, reducing bite risk, and improving the human-animal bond." Karen Pryor, author of Don't Shoot the Dog and CEO of Karen Pryor Clicker Training (
What Can You Learn from Doggone Crazy?

Dog bite prevention is the goal of the board game Doggone Crazy! Children and families will learn about dog communication, dog behavior, dog safety for children and how to prevent a dog bite. Through fun activities, photographs of real dogs and puppies and question cards, Doggone Crazy! promotes education and child safety. Doggone Crazy! is not the same as Dogopoly or Monopoly, the Dog. Dogopoly and Monopoly, the Dog are based on the classic property trading game Monopoly, while Doggone Crazy! is a race around the board collecting bones and learning about canine communication. Doggone Crazy! has over 100 photographs of real dogs doing real doggie things. There are pictures of over 60 different dogs representing more than 40 different dog breeds. The free parent guide gives some information about dog training and puppy training to help teach dogs not to bite. Doggone Crazy! is a highly competitive game with lots of physical activity - even little boys will stay with the game until the end.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Dogs

Halloween is lots of fun for kids, but many dogs will be confused or upset by kids in strange costumes and by lots of people coming to the door, but never being invited in. Doggone Safe offers the following tips for dog owners, kids and parents:

Dog owners:

  1. Secure your dog behind a closed door or in a crate in a room away from the front door or the party if children are meeting at your house.
  2. Give him a Kong stuffed with hotdog, Rollover or other soft dog treats, Greenies or other long lasting chew. Ask your vet if you need advice on safe and nutritious chews for your dog.
  3. Play music or leave a TV or radio playing in the dog’s room to help mask the sounds of the activity at the front door.
  4. Close drapes so that the dog does not see people coming and going through the window.
  5. If you have a dog that barks at the sound of the doorbell, disconnect it or watch for trick-or-treaters so that they do not have to ring or knock.
  6. Puppies and dogs that like to chase can get overly excited by costumes with dangly bits or streaming material. Supervise very carefully if you have a dog that may try to play with your children’s costumes while they are wearing them. Teach kids to Be a Tree and stand still if the dog does start nipping at their costume since the more they move, the more exited the dog will get.
  7. Keep your dogs (and cats) indoors around Halloween time. Pets have been stolen, injured or poisoned as part of Halloween pranks or other rituals.

 Kids and Parents:

  1. Avoid houses if you can hear a dog barking behind the door, you can see a dog behind a screen door or you see a dog tied up in the yard or barking behind a fence.
  2. Never approach any dog, even if you know him. He may not recognize you in your costume.
  3. If an owner opens the door and there is a dog there, just stay still and wait for the dog owner to put the dog away. You can tell them you do not want to come near the dog. Do not move toward the person and dog. Wait for them to come to you to give you your candy. Wait for them to close the door before you turn and leave.
  4. If a dog escapes just stand still and Be a Tree (hands folded in front, watching your feet). He will just sniff you and then move on. Wait for the owner to come and get the dog before you turn away.
  5. If you meet a loose dog, Be a Tree and wait until it goes away.
  6. It is best to ignore other people’s dogs on Halloween if you meet them out walking. The dog may be worried about all the strange creatures that are out and about. Even if you know the dog, he may not recognize you in your costume.
Doggone Safe wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween!
Click Here to download our tips as a handout