Two local men have decided to take a pro-active stand on the rash of dog bites which happen this time of year. They have created a story book and animated video they hope will soon be in all local schools and clubs.
Greg Krizman, of Hudson, is an advisor on the project headed up by attorney Jim Slatter.
Slatter is a local attorney who has represented many children as clients involved in dog bite cases over the years.
"The majority of kids getting bitten by dogs is between the ages of 5 and 9," Krizman said. "And with Christmas coming up and a lot of families getting dogs for children, especially families with small children, they need to know how to act around dogs."
A child who gets bitten at a young age may never want a dog, even in the future when they are a parent. Watching the video and having parents read through the store book will give the children the information on how not to be bitten around dogs.
Slatter is head of the Akron law firm Slatter & Zurz. As the firm has grown statewide it has been contacted to represent several people who have been victims of dog bites and dog maulings.
"Many of the clients we represent turn out to be children," according to Slatter. "Children are unfortunately victims. One of the reasons they become victims is that they treat each dog as a very friendly type of situation where they treat it like a teddy bear."
Children do not exercise care or caution when they come in contact with dogs, according to Slatter.
"And it became clear to me that if the kids had some training and some skills, they would approach the dogs that they encounter differently," Slatter reasoned.
Slatter wanted to develop something along those lines to help children to learn how to act around dogs. He put a team together to create a book and video dealing with how children should act.
"We are trying our best to put this out to the public," Slatter said.
As a dog society, American's love dogs, Slatter said. And while most rescue dogs may be friendly, the past temperaments are not always known.
"Sometimes they can end up being aggressive," Slatter said. "My role is not against the dogs. My role is that when children are around they need to be careful and they need to do certain things."
Children often like to run up to dogs and pet and hug them without permission. That can lead to biting, Slatter added.
Krizman and Slatter have contacted several schools, organizations and clubs to gauge interest the video and are giving free copies to teachers and interested organizations.
"My goal is to help one kid at a time," Slatter said. "If one kid can avoid being bit we win -- everybody wins."
Slatter is sure children will respond to the video and jingle "No Johnny, No."
"That jingle stays with them," Slatter said.
For a DVD or a hardcopy of the booklet call 1-888-534-4850.
To view the video or download the video visit: https://dogbitesohio.com/dog-bite-prevention.