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Published July 10, 2013, 10:05 PM

How to act if faced against stray dogs

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We have all come across loose dogs before and it can be difficult to tell how they will react. But there are ways to handle yourself that could keep you safe and avoid an attack.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - New information tonight in a dog mauling in the Northern end of the Valley: Police say they've put down the last of 59-year-old Pete Grzeskowiak’s 14 dogs and he is undergoing a psychological evaluation.

Nine of his dogs attacked 19-year-old John Munos, sending him to the hospital. He's going through a series of rabies shots.

The normal procedure after a dog has bitten somebody is to quarantine the animal for 14 days, or put the animal down, and test for rabies. Walsh County Sheriff Lauren Wild says that wasn't an option in this case.

An agreement was reached with Grzeskowiak to begin putting his dogs down. They safely euthanized four before Grzeskowiak began to resist.

The Sheriff says without the owners help, officers couldn't get close to the animals and were force to shoot the dogs.

We have all come across loose dogs before and it can be difficult to tell how they will react. But there are ways to handle yourself that could keep you safe and avoid an attack.

Julie Moss is always wary of the other dogs when she is out with her pet, Hunter.

Julie Moss, Dog Owner: "Even walking down the sidewalk, you never know how those dogs were treated."

And each trip to the dog park is a different experience.

Moss: "Like here, when we came in here, we could pretty much kind of see their temperament right away."

With or without a dog, you may come across a stray or loose canine. It's important to know how to handle yourself and recognize an aggressive dog.

Growling and barking are aggressive behaviors, and laid-back ears signal fear, which can lead to an attack. But it isn't always obvious.

Dr. Brad Bartholomay, Casselton Veterinary Service: "Just because their tail is wagging doesn't mean that they're friendly. They can wag their tail while they're killing prey."

Stay far away if possible, but if you are close, stand still with your arms flat at your sides.

Dr. Bartholomay: "Slowly turn a quarter turn away from the dog. Never make eye contact because that's a dominance thing."

More important than what you should do, is what you should not do. The worst way to react might actually be your first instinct: to run away.

Dr. Bartholomay: "That might incite a chase behavior."

Basically, the only time to go near a dog is if it's leashed and with its owner but always ask first.

Moss: "Dogs are wonderful animals and just need to be treated right."

If you see a loose or stray dog, call an animal control agency.

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