Protecting yourself from aggressive dogs

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 16, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. - An Augusta woman is recovering at home after she was attacked by four pit bulls. It happened in broad daylight as she was walking down the street on her way to work. News 12 is On Your Side with what you need to know if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Four dogs total were involved in the attack. Two were shot and killed by deputies. The other two are in cages at the Richmond County Animal Shelter undergoing observation.

Director Diane Downs says it hard to say what would make a dog attack a person.

"Sometimes they may have been chasing after one animal or chasing after one thing and their prey drive is pretty high at that point, so anything else that follows after that....they could go for that," says Downs.

Officer Willie Barnes deals with aggressive dogs on a regular basis. He carries a metal rod to keep from being attacked. He says, if a dog charges you, don't run.

"Stop. Look at the dog and start walking backwards. Don't run," says Barnes,"Your running would accelerate that prey drive and they would be right after you and right on you."

Downs agrees that running is the worst thing you could do if a pack of dogs is after you.

"The best advice I've been given is to not run, but when a pack of dogs is after the normal individual--who's not going to?"

Officer Barnes says the best option, if dogs are charging toward you, is to grab something to stop them in their tracks.

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