Toronto Hydro and the Toronto Humane Society team up to ensure pets and owners play safe
TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Loose electrical cords, houseplants and cleaning products may not seem very dangerous, but these and many other items found inside and outside of most households can pose serious threats to the health and safety of family pets. To help pet owners ensure the well-being of their four-legged friends, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) and the Toronto Humane Society are joining forces to launch the city's first annual Pet Safety Week, October 22 - 28. In years to follow, Pet Safety Week will take place the second last week of October.
There are many hazards that pet owners may not be aware of. From poisonous plants to dangling electric cords, bored cats and dogs are more likely to find ways to get into trouble. There are few resources available to help new and seasoned pet owners learn about overall safety. Pet Safety Week will arm pet owners with simple strategies on how to keep pets safe year-round.
It's unknown just how many animals ingest substances that cause illness or death. However, the Toronto Humane Society says that many day-to-day items inside and outside the home can be potential risks and warns owners to be diligent in making sure that they are out of reach. Simple foods such as chocolate can be dangerously toxic, and can even be fatal to some pets.
"Curiosity killed the cat." As the old saying goes, when it comes to fiddling with electrical items and appliances, pets can be more curious than children. Toronto Hydro urges pet owners to make the necessary changes to prevent any accidents. Their advice is to pet proof the home (similar to baby-proofing) to keep furry friends out of harm's way. When outside, be mindful of electrical equipment like street lighting fixtures and metal covers on the sidewalk, street signs, and other energized utility structures.
FACTS and TIPS
- In Toronto, most cases of contact voltage occur during the winter. Contact voltage is electricity that may be present on the surface of outdoor equipment like streetlights and handwells posing a serious shock hazard. There are approximately 12,000 handwells in Toronto and to date Toronto Hydro has replaced over 10,000 with non-conductive lids. To keep pets safe, customers are encouraged to stay clear of all electrical equipment in and around the home and when walking on sidewalks, stay closer to the house or store-front and walk in green areas or parks as much as possible.
- Most people know that chocolate can be harmful to dogs, but don't realize that grapes and raisins can be too.
- Pets like to find warm and dark spots to sleep like behind computers, TV's or other electrical appliances. Try to discourage them as there are several risks, especially if cords are loose or damaged.
- No one ever plans on losing their pet, but it is an unfortunate reality. Thousands of household pets are lost every year, never finding their way back home. It is always better to be safe than sorry: make sure pets are always wearing visual ID - a licence or name tag. As collars often come off, another consideration is a microchip. All vet clinics and animal shelters scan every lost animal for a chip. This one-time registration could be a pet's ticket home.
- If you suspect your pet has come into contact with electricity, approach with caution. If your animal is incapacitated, and you have a dry, nylon leash, remove your pet from the hazard by using the leash or another non-conductive object.
- If your pet has chewed and damaged a wire, unplug it immediately, and ensure that it's repaired properly. Taping or leaving the cord can lead to serious injury or death. Wire damage can lead to electric shock and fires, which in turn can be fatal for you, your family and your pets.
"The Toronto Humane Society is celebrating 125 years of promoting the humane care and protection of all animals and pet safety plays a big role in this mission."
"Pet owners have a responsibility to educate themselves about potential safety hazards for their pets and we hope Pet Safety Week will help arm them with the information they need to keep their family pets healthy and safe."
- Dr. Jacques Messier, CEO, Toronto Humane Society
"Toronto Hydro takes the safety of our community and employees very seriously. We've been working hard both to educate the public about electrical safety and to ensure our equipment exceeds safety standards."
- Anthony Haines, President and CEO, Toronto Hydro
About Toronto Hydro
The principal business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 712,000 customers located in the City of Toronto. It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 18% of the electricity consumed in the Province of Ontario.
About The Toronto Humane Society:
The mission of the Toronto Humane Society is to promote the humane care and protection of all animals and to prevent cruelty and suffering. The Toronto Humane Society provides high quality care to the animals who are surrendered to the shelter and finds them forever homes as quickly as possible. The Toronto Humane Society receives no government funding.
Image with caption: "Olive (front), and Jazzmine Edwards of the Toronto Humane Society practise safety around electricity at the launch of the first annual Pet Safety Week. This week was created by Toronto Hydro and the Toronto Humane Society to provide pet owners with information on how to keep their family pets safe. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121022_C9013_PHOTO_EN_19626.jpg
Image with caption: "Toronto Hydro's Ben LaPianta congratulates Olive after a successful demonstration on how to stay safe around hazards and electricity at the first annual Pet Safety Week launch. This week was created by Toronto Hydro and the Toronto Humane Society to provide pet owners with information on how to keep their family pets safe. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121022_C9013_PHOTO_EN_19625.jpg
SOURCE: Toronto Hydro Corporation
For further information:
Tanya Bruckmueller, Toronto Hydro
Emma Sharpe, Toronto Hydro
Barbara Steinhoff, Toronto Humane Society
T:416-392-2273 Ext. 2149
C:647 938 9053