Henryk police warn family of recent dog attacks after children are seriously injured

HENRICA, Virginia (WRIC) – Henry County Police are warning families about recent animal attacks after some children were bitten by dogs.

The Henrik Police Department of Animal Welfare reported three incidents in the last two months when a dog seriously injured a child in the house.

In 2021, there were 51 fatal dog attacks in the United States. Henrik police said the 19 victims were children between the ages of 1 month and 13 years.

“No matter how well you may think you know your dog, it’s impossible to know how she might react in a situation,” Henrik’s police told the PSA.

Over the past year, Henry has received more than 600 reports of dog and cat bites and scratches.

Tim Joyner, director of admission and education at Richmond SPCA, said the dog’s behavior could change over time.

“Your dog may like something when he turns two, but in eight- to nine-year interactions he feels differently,” he said.

According to Henrik police, more than 35% of dog bites are due to a dog biting a family member.

“Dog bites happen more often at home than even with strangers,” Joyner said.

He said to protect his family, watch over their children while they are with pets, and not disturb the animals at certain times of the day.

“Don’t come into contact with dogs when they eat food or play with a favorite toy, and sometimes even sleep in a favorite bed,” he said. “Another thing we often see is waking dogs that are asleep and, like human dogs, don’t like to be woken up.”

Joyner added that when in public, a person should always ask permission from the owner before approaching a pet.

Many people bite dogs while dogs fight each other, Joyner added.

Instead of reaching out between them, Joyner offered to distract them with loud noise and create a physical space between them.

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