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Pet Safety Program provides tips

January 2, 2019
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Parents and children alike got some pet safety tips Friday, thanks to Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

The agency held a Pet Safety Program for children of all ages Friday in their conference room at 5600 Banner Drive in Fort Myers.

The event was an opportunity for parents to learn along with their children how to safely interact with a dog and read its body language. The program taught things such as socialization, responsible pet ownership, and avoiding risky situations. Throughout the two hour event instructors found interactive ways for the entire family to learn and have fun.

Article Photos

Parents and children take part in a Pet Safety program offered by Lee County Domestic Animal Services. The program is about being safe around the dogs.


According to Karen Fordiani, Lee County Domestic Services spokesperson, this is the first time they have hosted this event at their center.

"We normally do canine education classes throughout the year at the various schools. We recently hosted a bite prevention summer camp at Florida SouthWestern State College. We had a dog specialist come to teach kids about safety around animals. We realized how important this topic is and were able to open it up to the entire community through a grant we received from South West Florida Community Foundation," said Fordiani.

Fordiani pointed out that while it's important to teach bite prevention, it's also important that children don't become fearful of interacting with dogs.

"We wanted to this program to be a positive experience, so we named it Pet Safety. It's about being safe around the dogs," said Fordiani. It's important that parents and kids are taught the right thing. Today was about teaching the adults as well as the children. Some parents have never owned a pet before and don't know how to teach their kids proper safety measures."

During the program kids and parents learned not go up to a strange dog and always ask permission before petting; how to read a dog's body posture and how to see signals of fear. Following the demonstration, they got a chance to practice what they learned while engaging in fun, interactive games.

"I came out to the program today, because I want to teach my child how to handle dogs, approach them and know what can happen if you don't do it right before we get a dog," said Jeanette Gainey who attended the program with daughter Emily.

All attendees from the event took a Pet Safety pledge and went home with stickers.

According to Fordiani, this type of program can go a long way in preventing unfortunate accidents between kids and family pets.

"Statistics show that the majority of kids get bitten by a dog they know and are usually under the age of 5. Many times a little caution and prevention could have prevented the incident," said Fordiani.

For more information call 239-533-7387 (LEE-PETS) or visit Find Lee County Domestic Animal Services' social media sites on Facebook or Instagram @leeanimalservices.



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