Tips for protecting people and pets from animal bites

27th Special Operations Medical Group

On the High Plains, stray animals are a fact of life.

With the significant number of stray animals on and around our installation, as well as the difficulty in controlling these animals, bites by stray animals are equally common.

While several base agencies are work to control and diminish this problem, here are some things you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones and your pets:

Actions to prevent an animal bite/attack:

• Keep your distance from unknown animals

• If approached by an unknown animal, quietly move in the opposite direction, and seek shelter in an area that the animal cannot access (house, car, fenced yard, etc.) Do not run — most dogs will chase a running person

• Do not take aggressive actions toward an unknown animal — threatened animals are more likely to attack

• Do not allow young children to walk home from bus stops alone

• Report stray animals to Security Forces

Actions you can take regarding your own pet:

• Keep your pets restrained (in a fenced yard or on a leash)

• Ensure your pets wear a collar with up-to-date vaccination and contact tags

• Vaccinate your pets as recommended by your veterinarian, particularly against rabies

• Register your pet with Base Housing

• Take your animal with you when you PCS — abandoned pets are one of the most common sources of stray domesticated animals

What to do if you or a family member are bitten by an animal:

• Do not try to capture the animal — this is a sure way to get bitten twice.

• Seek medical care (call 911 if seriously injured)

• Make a mental note or take a photo of the animal, in order to identify it later. Positive identification may preclude the need for rabies vaccination of the victim

• Notify Security Forces if on base or in Chavez Housing; notify local law enforcement if living in the Clovis or Portales community (including 801 housing)

• Notify the 27th Special Operations Medical Group Public Health Office at 784-4926 of the incident, to insure appropriate care and preventive measures are taken to prevent futher illness.

If you take the measures above, the incidence and severity of animal bites for the Air Commandos of the 27th Special Operations Wing should be dramatically diminished.

Information: Public Health Office, 784-4926.