Laws that govern responsible pet ownership, including: licensing, vaccination, and leash / confinement laws are effective.
For example: Calgary, Alberta enacted a Responsible Pet Ownership By-law in 2006 that focused on community-wide support for basic responsible pet ownership behaviors, including humane care (providing proper diet, veterinary care, socialization and training), humane custody (licensing and permanent ID), and humane control (following leash laws and now allowing a pet to become a threat or a nuisance). Through defined goals, support, public education, and incentives, Calgary achieved an unparalleled level of compliance, as well as record lows in total reported dog bites through 2012.
For example, the town of Pierrepoint, NY has adopted the strategy of reminding residents that there are laws regarding pet ownership, and that they are taken seriously, by simply posting signs announcing “Dog Control Laws Enforced.”
Perks for Licensing: Agencies can further incentivize licensing by affording pet owners who license their pets certain community “perks”, such as discounts with participating local retailers.
Focus on Education.
Educating children3,4 and adults on how to behave safely with dogs, including the importance of supervision of children around dogs. (Such public education programs could be supplemented by humane organizations and volunteers, freeing up municipal resources.)
Updated March 3rd, 2021