Community safety tips for April: Animals and pets

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The Mountlake Terrace Community Policing Advisory Board, a citizen board commissioned by the City of Mountlake Terrace, issues a monthly “Safety Tips” release for ongoing public safety and awareness. This is the April 2013 Safety Tips:

Animal / Pet Safety
Spring is here and the sun is on its way! With warmer temperatures, people will begin to venture outside more to play, walk, exercise, enjoy their neighborhoods and the dog park. Keeping everyone safe and having fun is what it’s all about and when it comes to pets here’s a list of things to prepare for and be aware of.

Have your pets licensed in Mountlake Terrace! Stop in at the police station … yes, this means cats too. Even if they are “indoor” cats they must be licensed annually.

Those with dogs, don’t forget about the Mountlake Terrace Dog Park. The off-leash-park is located at 53rd Avenue West and 228th Street Southwest, next to the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion. The dog park is a great place for them to have fun in a safe environment. Please make sure to stay in view of your dog so you, your pet and everyone around are safe.

If you notice an animal loose in the neighborhood, it’s best to contact the Mountlake Terrace Animal Control to capture and return the animal to its owner. If you don’t know a dog that’s running toward you – stop! Freeze in place and slowly back away.

Never use fireworks around your pets! This can scare pets and could cause them to be aggressive. They could also chew on unused fireworks that are toxic.
Some foods such as grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate, and avocado are potentially toxic to pets. At outdoor parties be careful what others may give your pet as a “treat.” Alcohol is especially toxic, as well as matches and lighter fluid!

Teach your kids about animals:
-Be wary but treat animals with respect and with kindness!
-Is the dog growling or curling its lip? Slowly back away. If you are scratched or bitten by an animal, tell an adult immediately. Adults: note what happened, when, where, and if you know the animal’s owner. Get medical attention right away.
-Wild animals could have diseases including rabies and should be left alone. It is not okay to feed wild animals.

The proper way to greet an animal:
-Do not pet an animal that is not your own.
-If the owner is available, ask if it is okay to approach and pet the animal.
-Take your time. Don’t crowd or get too close to a dog.
-No jumping around! A dog may think you are trying to play and could bite.

Even if it is your own pet make sure that you:
-Do not play with or pull at your pet or its food when they are eating or drinking.
-Do not pull tails or ears or tease a pet at any time.
-When your pet has babies the mother can be very protective and aggressive.

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