Watch your fingers. Davis County students learn animal safety tips

Friday , February 28, 2014 - 12:17 PM

Loretta Park, Standard-Examiner Staff

BOUNTIFUL — Third-graders Tanner Crane and Allie Seegmiller learned with their classmates they should never touch a dog or cat without the owner’s permission.

The two Valley View Elementary students attended the first of two assemblies presented on Tuesday by Davis County Animal Care and Control Education Officer Brigitte Draper.

“You don’t stick your fingers under the fence to touch a dog,” said Allie, whose family has a dog.

“You should never pet a dog under the chin because it could frighten them or hurt them and you might get hurt back,” said Tanner, whose family has two tortoises.

Draper, who has worked with the animal shelter for the past seven years, has gone to schools in Davis County for the past three weeks teaching children how to be safe around animals and how to care for them. She talks to them about all different types of animals, but focuses on being safe around dogs.

Principal Mary Memmott said this was the first time she requested Draper to come to her school. She said she chose January because some students get new pets for Christmas.

“The first few weeks of having a pet it seems like fun and games,” Memmott said.

Memmott also said stray dogs do show up on the school’s playground several times during the year and she wants students to be safe.

At the beginning of the assembly Draper asked the students to show by thumbs up how many of them had pets at home. Almost every thumb went up.

Draper told students if a dog approaches them, they should never run away from it.

“If you run away from a dog, I guarantee you get bit on the bottom,” Draper said. “Dogs think you’re playing a game and they will hunt you down and chase you.”

Students learned they should stand still, with their hands in their pocket or folded across their chest until the dog goes away. Draper told students that if the students see a dog coming toward them and there is enough time, to cross the street or go back the way they came to get an adult to help them.

Draper said just because a dog is small and fluffy does not mean it is a nice dog.

And she also said to never let the family dog out to play with a strange dog because “that could be a bad idea.”

Ayellow ribbon tied on a dog’s collar or leash means to stay away because either the dog is sick or just doesn’t like people or other dogs, Draper said.

Students were also told to let their parents know if they get bit by a dog and also to try to remember what the dog looked like and which way it went. Draper said her presentations she does at schools can be adapted to topic, length and audience. She has done presentations in classrooms as well as for the entire school.

Classes and groups can also come to the animal shelter for a tour.

For more information about the presentations or tours call 801-444-2200.

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE.

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