Sarah Francis, 19, was bitten by a dog when she was 11.
"It still kind of made me scared of dogs, and I love them, so it was kind of hard," said Francis.
Now, she's teaching children in the U.S. and Canada valuable lessons about how they should behave around dogs.
"I go to elementary schools and speak to kids about how to be aware but not afraid and just show them the right things to do, what not to do, how to approach a dog the right way," Francis said.
According to her "Aware, not Afraid" presentation at Christ The King Elementary in Mesa, one of the biggest mistakes kids make is running away from a dog.
"The dog thinks the kid could be a toy, so it may chase after them and then bite them when they catch up," added Francis.
Dog bites are the second leading cause of injury to children in North America. Last year, more than 2 1/2 million children under the age of 10 were bitten by a dog.
"Any shape or size, they all have teeth, they can bite you no matter how cute they look," said Francis.
Local experts say Francis's message is extremely important for kids to understand.
"My biggest message to children would be to respect the dog's space, to ask the owners if it's OK to approach the dog and to watch the dog's body language," said Heather Allen of HALO Animal Rescue.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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