WCOs and dogs may seem like a strange topic but a few moments of reflection would suggest otherwise. Wildlife Control Operators (WCOs) visit the homes of clients.
Lots of clients have dogs and dogs can bite. According to the Dogs Bite.org, between January 1 2005 and December 31, 2017, at least 433 people died from dog attacks in the United States. Granted 48% of the deaths were of children less than 9 years of age. Makes sense, children are more vulnerable. But don’t let your guard down. people in older groups including adults have been killed by dogs. Deaths are only part of the story as most incidents involve bodily injury, some quite severe, meaning that the victim required medical treatment.
Bottom line. WCOs need to be on the look out for more than just slippery sidewalks. They need to be paying attention to whether a domestic animal is on location and whether it can pose a threat to the WCO’s personal safety.
WCOs should protect themselves by following these suggestions:
- Ask clients whether they have a dog on the premises when hired. Make it part of the phone inspection process.
- Keep an eye out for signs of dogs when driving up to the job site. Are there dog food dishes present? What about dog toys? Is there a fenced area that seems quite secure? Is the grass destroyed by that fence line suggesting a dog spends time monitoring that fence?
- Do you hear barking when you arrive?
Once you see a dog, don’t assume it’s friendly. Keep away from it unless the client suggests otherwise. The Centers for Disease Control has many more suggestions on how to prevent dog bites. I suggest reading their tips to keep you safe. If you have employees, take the opportunity to train them. A few minutes of training can save hours of lost work, pain, and expensive medical bills.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications along with several books (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.