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Saturday, July 13, 2024
NOTL fire safety campaign helps get pets adopted
Fire department members Karley McKeigan, Brad Disher and Dylan Skubel with Jack Russel terriers Dragonfruit, Acai and Honeydewe; boxer cross Sonic and a kitten named Cassiopia. SUBMITTED PHOTO

And everyone thinks it is only dalmatians that are a firefighter’s best friend.

Turns out the profession has a love affair with other breeds as well — even cats.

Once a week from now until the end of August, members of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Fire Department will be posting pictures of themselves on social media channels with animals from the Greater Niagara Humane Society.

The campaign is being tagged “the Dog Days of Fire Safety.”

The goal is three-pronged: to provide basic fire safety tips that everyone should know, tips that people with pets in the home should know and to pull on the heartstrings of NOTL residents enough that they will adopt an animal in need.

Fire chief Jay Plato said all too often pets get lost in the hectic and terrifying shuffle of a fire escape scenario.

“If you have a home escape plan don’t forget to include your pets in it,” he said, adding that it is important to know your pets habits when it is trying to get away from a traumatizing experience. 

“Usually an animal takes off or gets scared and goes and finds their safe hiding place which could be somewhere in the little nooks and crannies that are not easily accessible, especially when you are trying to get out in a hurry.”

“We take these things for granted inside the fire department,”  he said, “but we want to ensure that the general public is also considering these things when coming up with their safety plans.”

The first posts went out Friday, June 7, with a collage of pictures of members with three Jack Russell terrier puppies named Dragonfruit, Acai and Honeydew, a boxer mix breed named Sonic and a kitten named Cassiopeia.

Each one of the animals was brought to NOTL by humane society employees who are ecstatic that the department reached out to them to find homes for animals and to help be a part of an important public service campaign.

“We are thrilled to partner with the fire department to promote both fire safety and pet adoption,” said senior manager of operations Cortnie Welychka. 

“This unique collaboration aims to protect our community while also giving loving animals the chance to find their forever homes. Together, we can make Niagara-On-The-Lake a safer and more compassionate place for everyone.”

The posts will appear on the fire department’s Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram pages every Friday until Aug. 30.


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