Bite Stick Applications
The tactical (collapsible) baton or "bite stick," has become increasingly popular for use in law enforcement as well as by Animal Control Officers. The ease of carry and generally light weight, makes this a tool that is both convenient and tactically effective for use by the Animal Control Officer.
First a reminder about our choice of terminology. Thugs use weapons. The word "weapon" conjures an image of harm and/or destruction. That is not the image you or your department would want, particularly when you go to court.
Police and law enforcement agencies utilize “batons” to control human subjects. Again, the use of the word will create an image when you are in court. In animal control, you will be using a bite stick. Please get used to calling it that and never call it anything else. Whatever your habit, whatever name you put on this on a normal, regular basis, even when “nobody’s around”….guess what name you’ll use in court when under pressure? It’s a "bite stick". Now you are creating an image consistent with your mandate as animal control officers. It’s all about the articulation.
To ignore the possibility of this tool being used as a weapon of opportunity against a human attacker, would be to invite disaster. On occasion, this is necessary and does happen. However, it cannot be the reason for carrying this niche piece of equipment. Otherwise, one is simply carrying a collapsible baton and must then have the legal authority, justification, need and training to do so.
The implement is intended to be used on aggressive and/or attacking animals. The acid test that courts will apply as to whether you are appropriately carrying an animal control tool or a 'baton', will be the frequency of it’s deployment for use or possible use on human attackers.
National Animal Control Association
Policy Statement Regarding
The Bite Stick
Bite sticks may be used as a defensive tool to provide an Animal Control Officer with non-lethal force for dealing with aggressive animals. Use of this tool for personal protection from humans should be in accordance with agency training, policies, and procedures.
Basis For Policy
Animal Control Officers frequently encounter hostile or aggressive animals and people. Officers must be able to defend themselves in order to retreat to call for assistance without placing their life in imminent danger.
NACA recommends that no Animal Control Officer be permitted to carry or use a bite stick without proper animal related training. NACA further recommends that any agency approving the use of this item must have a written policy regarding their use and insure proper training.
Reviewed/Revised by the NACA Corporate Office - 09/17/02
Bite Stick Instructions
Keep your stick with you at all times.
Place the grip of the stick firmly in your hand.
Don’t lay your stick on the ground; keep it where you can retrieve it while still standing.
Maintain dominant posturing. Having to retrieve the stick from the ground will make you appear more submissive.
Extend your stick before you enter the yard, or as soon as you identify a threat from a dominant or aggressive animal.
If you are familiar with the dog(s), and are in a non-threatening situation, hold the stick down along your side, making it part of your body. You will still want to have the stick with you in case the dog becomes aggressive, or another dog has been added to the home.
If attacked and the dog is aggressively coming towards you you may elect to wave the stick from side to side and see if the dog will target the stick instead of you. If the dog focuses on the stick, keep it moving.
If the dog grabs the stick, GO WITH THE DOG! It will be your instinct to pull back, DON’T. Let the dog pull you to safety. If the dog is just chewing on the stick but not moving, push the dog in the direction of the gate or your vehicle.
If the dog has a tight hold on the stick and you are through the gate and you are safe, let the stick go! The stick can be replaced. It’s done it’s job. You’re safe.
If attacked and the dog is not looking at the stick, but is looking at you, the stick should be used to keep the dog at bay.
Keep your stick in front of you following the movements of the dog.
Also, move toward the fence; get your back up against the fence, keeping the dog from getting behind you. Follow the fence line to the gate and get out.
If there is no fence, keep the stick in front of you. If you must move backwards, keep your side to the dog protecting vital areas of your body.
Slide your feet to test what is behind you. You do not want to fall with this dog.
Use the bite stick to protect you if the dog attacks: When striking the dog, swing the stick in a back hand motion across your body (you should be standing in a side posture).
Never stand frontal to the dog. If the dog were to get you before you can defend yourself you can at least deflect the dog away by just lifting your arm, protecting your face, neck, and chest.
A bite stick can be used as an impact tool against an attacking dog(s). It is usually and most effectively used as a distraction and to fill the dog's mouth, preventing the animal from biting you. It can also be used as a pry tool at the back of a dog's mouth to make the dog release it's grip once it has bitten.
Before attempting to carry or utilize this valuable piece of equipment, please do take a credible course.