Kathy Voigt's passion for keeping children safe from dog bites began with her own daughter's serious injuries from a neighborhood dog in 1999. After seeing her daughter Kelly suffer the physical and emotional trauma caused by her injuries, Kathy began to research the problem of dog bites. She was shocked to learn that dog bites are a leading cause of injury, especially to children. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, dog bites are the ninth leading cause of injury to children ages 5-9 and eleventh for children ages 1-4 and 10-14. Nearly five million people are bitten by dogs every year, and the majority of bites are to children twelve and under.
"My husband and I are dog lovers, and we passed that love on to our children. That's partly the reason for Kelly's attack. She approached a dog she had pet before, but this time it was alone on its driveway. She had no fear, and no reason to think the dog would fear her". With information gathered from dog bite studies, animal behaviorists and educators, Kathy created a dog bite prevention educational program that eventually led to the creation of the nonprofit Prevent The Bite (PTB).
The PTB educational program was created with the help of a school psychologist and animal assisted therapist and focuses on three main themes: a basic understanding of canine body language, simple safety techniques and responsible dog ownership. "Children treat dogs like their friends. They like to get down on their level, put their face up to the dogs face, look them in the eyes and give them hugs. The PTB program helps them understand and respect the differences between dogs and people. This allows for a happier and safer relationship between children and dogs". Kathy and Kelly created a program that is easy for children to understand, and that they can retain and use if necessary. Since children are the most at risk for dog bites, PTB is geared toward children, mostly ages 5-12, but the lessons it teaches are important for people of any age.
Although Prevent The Bite is no longer a 501(c)3 nonprofit,
we are still devoted to keeping children safe from dog bites.
Resources and educational materials will gladly be provided free of charge upon request.
Please use the contact page to send us your questions or request information.