HEATH, MA (August 29, 2013) – The Heath Fair took steps to protect community pets by placing six signs about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars around the fairgrounds parking lot prior to the event last weekend. Fairs have historically been a central resource for information on farming techniques and agricultural methods as they recognize the value of animals and celebrate how they interact positively with humans. For the last two years, the Heath Fairgrounds have incorporated a contemporary message into its 96-year-tradition by reminding fairgoers of the deadly risk of leaving dogs in hot cars.
In 2012, various color laminated posters produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association and RedRover®, California-based nonprofit that sponsors the highly successful My Dog Is Cool campaign, were first displayed around the fairgrounds. The eye-catching posters depicted a dog sitting in a roasting pan inside an oven, and a frightened dog peering out from a car window next to a red thermometer. RedRover’s My Dog Is Cool campaign seeks to educate pet owners to prevent the tragic suffering and deaths of dogs locked in hot cars through public education. More information can be found at www.MyDogIsCool.com.
This year, large banner signs placed at the Heath Fair increased awareness by reminding visitors that leaving a dog unattended in a hot car is not allowed in the fairground parking lot, and leaving a dog in a hot car can be determined illegal. The message is based on Massachusetts animal cruelty laws that make subjecting an animal to unnecessary cruelty or suffering a felony that can result in imprisonment and/or fines of up to $2,500.
The signs are the result of collaboration between Heath resident Barry Adams and Justin Lively, President of the Heath Agricultural Society, which hosts the annual Fair. Adams has been a volunteer parking attendant at the Fair for over a decade and saw the need for public education; open fields used for Fair parking pose a danger for dogs left in cars. He has also been an active volunteer with RedRover’s My Dog Iis Cool campaign.
In 2011, Adams successfully convinced the town of Brattleboro, Vermont, to include warnings of the danger of hot cars to dogs on all new dog license applications and annual license renewals in the town. This year, Brattleboro also approved a proposal by Adams to install permanent signs in all municipal parking lots, expecting the signs will decrease demands on the police department who respond to animal-related emergencies. The signs were installed last May.
Adams has also invited the Franklin County and Cummington Fairs, as well as local grocery store chains, to join the growing international effort to protect dogs in their parking lots. “I believe that such proactive and responsible efforts speak clearly to the larger communities these ventures serve,” said Adams. “Research increasingly shows that the American public dearly loves their pets and, consequently, demonstrates loyalty to businesses, organizations, and institutions that also recognize the welfare and well-being of animals.”
Founded in 1987, RedRover focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at RedRover.org.
916.429.2457 ext. 314