Accidents happen, so the saying goes, but accidents can also be avoided with a little education and caution.
That was the message behind a program presented to Washington Elementary students this week by the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley. With incidents involving animals and students in the news of late, the humane society wants children and families to know the dos and don'ts around animals.
Hats off to the humane society for taking this message on the road. We hope they plan to visit more schools in the weeks and months ahead.
Their message is a simple one. Take care around animals you aren't familiar with, and remember to be cautious when handling a family pet or an animal you know. Two recent cases involved youngsters who were injured by either the family pet or a neighbor's animal. The dogs in these cases had no history of violence.
Even so, accidents happened. Families and especially children should follow these tips when approached by an animal:
Don't try to pet a stray cat or dog you do not know.
Ask the owner of an animal permission to pet the dog or cat.
Do not corner a stray dog or cat.
Young children should never be left alone with an animal.
Pet owners should keep their pets on a leash when in public.
Incidents involving animals attacking children are traumatic and can leave lasting scars, both physically and emotionally. Following these simple rules can help make the relationship between kids and pets safer.