CIRCLEVILLE – Our four-legged friends are part of the family, but is it safe? Should you take caution when bringing your four-legged family members to a large event like Pumpkin Show? Here are some animal experts who weigh in on dog safety in this kind of environment.
Christine Roan, Director of Circle Area Humane Society: A non-vaccinated dog could contract parvo. Think about the illnesses your dog could get from some other dog in attendance. Not everyone vaccinates their dogs properly. Your dog could come into contact with an unhealthy dog carrying a nasty disease. Is it really worth the risk? Dogs can easily find discarded food and wrappers off the street and get sick. Onions, for example, can be very bad for dogs. There are lots of loud noises, and dogs’ ears are more sensitive than humans’. New smells can upset a dog in a large crowd.
The Circleville Fire Department: Dogs cannot see what’s going on around them. All they see are feet, knees, and crotches. With large crowds, little dogs can get stepped on, and larger dogs can accidentally have feet stepped on. Often there are kids running around being kids, screeching, excited, and wanting to pet every dog they see. It’s dangerous for a child to go running up to a strange dog. Even if you have a dog that’s never bitten and has always been good with kids, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to react with a bite if he’s under stress. I’ve worked with many animal groups. People automatically jump to the fact that the animal is mean or vicious when the dog is simply stressed. So I want people to take caution not to put an animal into a situation that they may not be able to cope with. If you have a service dog, please, make sure to have them marked, so people are aware they are a service dog. You should always ask the owner for permission to pet any animal. I don’t want to discourage anyone, just make sure they are cautious. With the beautiful weather, we are expecting very large crowds this year. I just want to caution people to be responsible for their pets.
Chris Rice Deputy Dog Warden: If you’re going to take dogs, make sure you put them on leashes. Every year I have to catch dogs who have run away from their owner because of loud noises. Be aware of your surroundings. Loud noises can really spook a dog. You have to watch for strollers, and people accidentally step on them. It can be a difficult environment for dogs. My recommendation is if you’re going to bring dogs to Pumpkin Show, just be aware of your surroundings, and be aware of your animal.
Pickaway County Auditor: Ohio law specifies that all dogs must be confined to your property or under reasonable control, such as on a leash when being walked. It is not safe to let your dog roam the neighborhood.