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Yellow ribbon leash campaign begins

The Dothan Police Department Animal Services is heading up a new campaign to bring awareness to aggressive dogs.

The Dothan Police Department is launching a new program, one that will help protect people from being bitten by aggressive dogs.

The Yellow Ribbon Leash Campaign will help the community know which dogs to stay away from.

"So we're asking the people that do own aggressive type dogs, or dogs that don't like other dogs to tie the ribbon around them, “said Animal Services’ Adrian Woodruff. “And then were asking the public who see those ribbons to stop, wait, and give those people an opportunity to get out of your way before you approach."

Here is how it works - owners tie a yellow ribbon half way up their dog's leash, so the public can be aware to stay away.

Chelsea Weldon, who owns an aggressive dog, said this is a great warning sign for the community.

"It would be ideal if everybody would get on board with this. If everybody understood what this really meant, because then we wouldn’t have the issue of children getting bit or anyone getting bit for that matter."

Police say they get an average of five to ten calls a month reporting bites. Sometimes they result in serious injury and often cause the dogs to be impounded and even put down. But with the yellow ribbon program those things may happen less often.

"People need to teach their children to watch for that yellow ribbon, to stop going up to it. Dogs will bite and it will stop the kids from getting bitten. Automatically its just going to be a routine: teach your children just like you teach them anything else about safety. Don’t run up to the dog it has a yellow ribbon stop don’t go," said Woodruff.

Some believe that the warning is a good idea but injuries could still happen.

"Yes it’s enough warning, but they could still go to the hospital for the little kids getting bit by them," said Lee Brown.

This year's Bark in the Park will serve as a big promotion tool for the campaign. But Animal Services says you don’t have to wait until event you can go ahead and use the yellow ribbons.
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