Peggy Malone, standing, delivers a dog bite prevention presentation at the Family YMCA.

Emporia-Greensville Humane Society President Peggy Malone delivered a dog-bite prevention presentation to YMCA After School Program youthlast week. It was part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

The youth watched a slide show presentation describing the do’s and dont’s when approaching a dog. Malone said there is truth in the saying, “let sleeping dogs lay.” Approaching a dog that is eating is another no-no. Malone taught the children several informative dog-bite prevention lessons. Julianne Mitchell, 10, absorbed them all.

“It’s never right to approach a dog that is scared,” she said. “Never approach a dog that’s afraid or angry because they might bite you and possibly attack.”

Malone owns Peggy Malone State Farm Insurance in Emporia. According to a press release, Virginia ranked No. 17 national on State Farm dog-related injury claims in 2020. The Commonwealth has 64 State Farm claims totaling $1.7 million in payout. The company paid nearly $157 million for over 3,185 dog-related injury claims nationally. The highest number of claims and amount paid for those claims came at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Malone dispensed the dog-bite prevention information to the correct group. Children make up more than 50% of dog-bite victims. Berkley Futrell, 6, said she enjoyed the presentation.

“I learned so much,” she said.”I learned what to do to not get bit by a dog.”

The children received coloring books and dog-bite prevention informational pamphlets following the program.

They had the opportunity to approach Malone’s Chihuahua Louie safely. Louie enjoyed the attention, and the children enjoyed giving him their attention.

“I liked the program a lot,” Tyler Clary, 9, said. “I learned how to approach a dog.”

Malone delivered a second dog-bite prevention program on Friday at the William E. Richardson Memorial Library to wrap up National Dog-Bite Prevention Week.

The lessons taught will come in handy to the children absorbing the information. The students of the presentation not only learned how and when to approach a dog, but more importantly, the audience learned when not to approach a dog.