What should you do if attacked by a dog? Here are some tips

What should you do if attacked by a dog? Here are some tips

A 23-year-old Swiggy delivery agent died at a hospital in Hyderabad on January 14, after he fell from the third floor of a building to escape an alleged attack by a pet dog. His death has once again triggered rage against the menace of dog attacks with Twitter users demanding justice for the delivery agent.

On January 11, Wednesday night, Mohammed Rizwan, who worked with food delivery app Swiggy, went to the third floor of Lumbini Rock Castle apartment building in Banjara Hills to deliver a parcel. However, when he knocked at the customer’s door, a German shepherd dog came barking and charged at him. Out of fear, Rizwan jumped onto the hand railing in the building’s third floor landing to escape from the dog, but slipped and fell, sustaining grievous injuries.

Swiggy delivery agent
Mohammed Rizwan, the Swiggy delivery agent who died

The Banjara Hills Police have registered a case against the dog’s owner, Shobana, said news reports. According to one report, CCTV footage clearly showed the dog charging at Rizwan, who jumped off the railing in the landing in a bid to avoid the attack.

The customer, Shobana, then called an ambulance and Rizwan, a resident of Sriram Nagar, was shifted to the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS).

Also read: Six in 10 people say dog attacks common in their area: Survey

Guide to avoid or minimise the harm in a dog attack

Dogs of any size or breed get aggressive when defending their territory. Even a friendly dog becomes fierce if someone is entering their home, be it a house, a road or footpath.

What should you do if you are approached by an aggressive dog? The first obvious instinct is to flee. But, that is entirely the wrong thing to do. According to canine experts, the first thing to do is to “stand still, don’t run”. Easier said than done when a snarling dog is waiting to bite into your flesh.

Secondly, keep your hands by your side, stay quiet, try not to make any noise. This is important, avoid eye contact with the dog and look at the ground. Once the dog has lost interest, slowly back away.

Also read: Thick human population, poor pet culture feed Kerala’s stray dog menace

While standing at a front door, after knocking, take several steps back to create space between you and the door in case the resident opens the door and lets their dog out.

If your job entails visiting homes on errands, carry a protective shield like an umbrella, spray or carry a few dog treats. Also, throwing rocks or handfuls of pebbles at a dog that’s following or chasing can be sufficient to break the focus of the dog and get them to stop. There are also chemical or natural dog deterrent sprays like pepper sprays and the like are effective at stopping an aggressive dog in its tracks.

Sprays are available with waistband clips, are pocket-sized, and are designed for easy, one-handed use in the event an aggressive dog is trying to attack.

Substitute something for the dog to bite down on: a stick, notebook, sleeve, anything you may have. Make sure it gets into the dog’s mouth.

When push comes to shove, take the bite

If you do not have an object, you may have to sacrifice, or “take the bite”: give it your left arm if you write with your right hand. Once a dog has bitten, DO NOT pull back; the damage is already done and will not get worse by going in the direction it is pulling, and resistance can excite the dog further.

If you get loose, square off and face the dog in an intimidating stance and in a firm voice command, “NO”. Back off slowly while facing the dog.

If all else fails, go limp, curling up into the fetal position and protecting your head and trunk with your arms and legs. Do not fight back or struggle, and do not try to get up until the dog is at least 20 feet away. Immediately wash and rinse all bite injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Twitter explodes

Twitter users also reacted to the tragedy. “Pet dogs are many a time more erratic than street dogs, They should take care of their dogs if they know someone is coming or door bells …dog is a dog not everyone is comfortable with them … Love dogs it’s nyc but think for PPL who are scared..!! Om shanti,” said one user.

“The govt should bring in PET laws similar to that of UK. The pet owners should be held responsible for any attack by their pets, they can’t be let off lightly by placing the blame entirely on the pet,” said another. Many users demanded justice for Rizwan and hoped that the owner or Swiggy would pay compensation to the family.

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