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Animal Safety

  • Coyotes, Jackrabbits, & Raccoons oh my! Where is my animal repellent?


    We live in The San Joaquin Valley, California and it is not uncommon to see Jack Rabbits, and Raccoons on the farm land around us. Is not unusual to hear Coyote yelps and screams if you are fishing around area lakes and Rivers, but it is, or I should say was, unusual to see these animals walking down city streets, attacking people in their carports, and chasing small animals inside your house.

    But that is just what has been happening California:

    Other than sighting many jackrabbits in home gardens, other specific incidents have been worthy enough to make the newspaper and television news.

    In San Diego County, a Coyote was sighted chasing a cat down the middle of a gated community street.

    In East Lake, a resident reported hearing coyotes hysterics near by as a pack captured their dinner.

    A Rancho Penisquitas resident, reported that here neighbor's dog was taken from a fenced yard, by a possible coyote, and that they are now afraid to leave their dog outside.

    A Spring Valley resident, reported that a coyote chased a dog through a dogie door right into the house surprising the owner who was then in a fight to save her pet.

    In Sacramento, a young woman was attacked by raccoon, twice, while walking from her car to her front door. She is now undergoing rabies treatment.

    In densely populated area of Stockton, a set of three raccoon cubs were found living in a home owner's back yard tree.

    And in Glendale, an entire pack of coyotes have taken up residence in an upscale neighborhood home that burned last November.

    These are just some of the incidents reported in our area. We need to change the way we treat our pets and garbage and we have another use for animal repellent pepper spray.

    First understand that animals that normally live in the wild, are loosing their homes and food sources, as we spread out our cities to accommodate the growing population. So they move down from the hills looking for food and nesting areas.

    Help keep them away from your home by:

    Placing garbage in cans with animal proof lids.

    If possible, watch your small pets while they are outside or place them in pens.

    Don't leave out pet food where wild animals will find an easy source of food.

    If you have yard or a home garden, consider fencing it in and research methods to repel animals from it. There are chemical, electrical, and electronic animal repellents on the market.

    If you see a wild animal, keep your distance. There are recent cases of rabies transmission from a paw scratch.

    Keep animal repellent nearby. You never know when it could be needed to save your pet, or child from an animal attack.

    But above all, be safe out there!




  • A What If Dog Attack

    Sheperd ThinkingWhile camping at Campground By The Lake, in South Lake Tahoe this last July, we saw an unusual German Shepherd dog attack that made us think what if.

    If you camp, you know that a large number of campers bring their dogs during their travels. Some are large dogs, but many are small dogs and this combination is what caused our what if situation.

    Before we get started: I have nothing against camping with German Shepherd dogs. I have worked with some very smart and dedicated German Shepherd Police Dogs over the years. This incident with red flags could have happened with any breed of dog, to make you think about a what if dog attack.

    My family and I were camping for two weeks and a couple from Nevada were camping across from us with their grandchildren and two German Shepherd dogs. We noticed some red flags about these dogs and those flags turned out to be right.

    Here are some of the red flags:

    There were two untrained and unmuzzled adult German Shepherd dogs together.

    These dogs barked at everything that walked by while pulling on their leashes. This was especially true if there were other dogs being walked by their owners.

    The Shepherd owners did not have good physical control of the dogs and could not command these dogs to stop barking.

    The Incident:

    One time a large man and his wife were walking their small breed dog by the German Shepherd campsite and as usual the dogs jumped up barking and ran to the end of their short leashes. This time something went wrong with one of the leash collars.

    One of the German Shepherd dogs pulled so hard that a heavy duty dog collar chain pulled apart, allowing the dog loose and to viciously attack the small breed dog. The small dog owner tried desperately to pull the dog away while attempting to keep from getting bit by the snarling German Shepherd. There was dirt and dust everywhere and it was hard to see. After about fifteen seconds, a long time during a dog attack, the German Shepherd owner was able to grab the neck of his dog and pull him off. After the small dog owner had his heated say, he left and continued to the campground gate house to report the incident.

    Amazingly neither the dogs or dog owners had any injuries that needed treatment.

    The German Shepherd dogs were evicted from the campground, but before he left, the owner showed me the collar that had failed to hold the German Shepard.

    This collar was a heavy duty large dog chain with welded end rings. One of those welds was apparently faulty, as the ring had been pulled straight from a circle shape.

    So here are the what ifs I came up with:

    What if it was a small child walking with parents, or walking the dog.

    What if the Shepherd owner was further away and could not quickly get to his dog.

    What if both Shepherd dogs had gotten loose.

    But the real question is; what if you had been walking with a child or your dog? What would you have done?

    If the small breed dog owner had animal repellent pepper spray he may have stopped the attack as soon as it started.

    I'm sure there are more what if statements that could be brought up, but the main point is to be prepared. Many people walk a dog for protection, but maybe we should return the favor by having a method to protect our dog(s) too!

    We have some prevention tips on our blog Dog Attack Prevention . It is much better to try to avoid an attack than to try to break one up. Doing so without injury, as above, is rare because when a dog is in fight mode, they don't think about what or who they are biting.

    Have a good day and be safe out there!

  • About Black Bears

    Black Bear at Tent

    You need to be prepared for black bears to raid your campsite. You can't afford not to because you have food at your campsite.

    A black bear's number one goal is to find food and over the years they have learned that an easy place to find food is in campgrounds.

    Sure, you can probably take lots of pictures and have fun watching them as they raid your or your neighbors campsite and in most cases they will run away if you make enough noise. But if there was an odor of food in your site and that bear is hungry, it may not scare away and for sure if it runs, it will be back.

    That is where it can be dangerous as the bear may attack you or your loved ones by mistake while looking for food.

    In Lake Tahoe, a campers have mauled by a black bear. The bear was raiding campsites and tore into the tent while the camper was in it. This is becoming more common since the continued California drought 2015

    Most likely bear hunting people, but think tents as a source of food. As a result campers can either be seen as a threat to the bear or can be injured by a bear while it tries to get into a tent. (Bear claws are razor sharp). They can smell food and makeup products.

    An example from Lake County Colorado, a black bear was raiding a bow-hunters gathering campsite. After going through a food cooler and enjoying a feast of eggs, the bear tore into a teenage boy's tent and mauled him.

    Tents are not the only place you can be mauled by  black bears. They will break into tent campers, RVs, cars, and cabins.

    One mistake campers make while renting cabins in bear country, is to leave windows and screen doors open at night and while cooking.  Bears do not care that you are there or not. The animal(s) wants your food and if your in the way, you are a candidate for an accidental or defensive bear attack.

    More examples have happened in the Sierra Mountains to make it even more dangerous for visitors to bear country, including the Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park areas.

    When the winter snow and rain continued into June of 2011 and with the opposite with 2014 continued California drought, bear food becomes hard for them to find.  This causes bears to move to lower altitudes to find food and makes them more likely to wander into your campsite.

    Bear populations are growing to the point that officials are considering allowing previously banned bear hunting to reduce populations.

    So with all this to consider, here are a few important tips to prepare for the highly possible bear encounter this year.

    Have Bear Spray Pepper with you and ready to use. It could help stop or even prevent a bear attack.

    Keep food or anything that smells, including makeup, toothpaste, soda, iced tea, and bag snacks out of your tent, or camper. Place these items into a bear proof container away from where you will be. And remember food scent remains even if the food is removed.  It is better not to have it in a sleeping area at any time.

    Keep Cabin Doors and Windows closed. If a Black Bear gets in try to find a safe way to get out. Make loud noise, but do not corner a bear. Open exits and give the bear a way out. A trapped bear is a dangerous bear. If needed, call 911 for help.

    Garbage is a food source to a bear. Throw that garbage bag tied to the tree, or camper into a bear proof garbage can.

    If you come upon a black bear in the open, don't run. Stand your ground, make noise but give the bear a way out and never get between a bear and cubs.

    These tips will help you keep your campsite safer from the black bear food seekers. There are other Black Bear experiences and tips to read about here at our For Security Sake Blog.

    Be safe out there.

  • Dog Attack Prevention

    Wolf reduced no background

    Up dated 05-21-16

    The Associated Press wrote that in 2011 there were over 4.7 million reported dog bites in the United States and a majority of the bite victims were children.

    The United States Postal Service reported 5,600 mail carriers were bitten last year with costs over a million dollars for medical treatment.

    Each year the USPS sets up for their annual dog bite prevention program, where the service's goal is to help reduce the number of attacks on Americans.

    Here are some anti-bite tips regarding dogs:

    Remember that dogs are descendants of wild animals. They still have those instincts. Many times I have heard the words " my dog has never done that before", or my dog "is normally gentle and has never bitten anyone before".

    If you were jogging, walking, or riding a bicycle, would you run by a wild wolf? Domesticated dogs still have the instinct to chase and catch prey. If you see a loose dog, stop, turn and walk away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

    If the dog threatens you, don't scream. This shows weakness. Avoid eye contact as this can show aggression or a challenge to the dog. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves and then go the opposite direction slowly.

    Don't approach dogs that are fenced in or tied up.

    One of the most dangerous dog situations, is where you find dogs grouped in packs. Don't walk by a pack of dogs, even if they appear friendly.
    If a dog attacks, try to place something between you and the dog, like a bicycle, chair, or rake.

    Use your pepper spray dog repellent. Our EPA approved Mace® Muzzle provides safe, effective and humane protection against dog attack. Ideal protection for walkers, joggers, cyclists or delivery people.

    The US Postal Service has these requests for dog owners:

    When a mail carrier comes to your home, please keep your dog inside the home and in a room away from the front door. Dogs want to protect their master and will escape through a door if possible.

    Please don't send your children to a mail carrier to pick up your mail if you have a dog present, because the dog may see the mail carrier as a threat to the child. Again they will protect the family.


    Other dog owner tips include:

    Use a leash when walking your dog. Remember there are those instincts that can take over, no matter the size or breed of the dog.

    Don't place your dog where it may feel threatened or teased. A large percentage of child dog bites are from family dogs known to the child.

    Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.

    Be alert for potentially dangerous situations that arise with your dog.

    Teach children to be careful around pets; not to approach strange dogs, or try to pet dogs through fences.

    Train and know your dog. Teach the dog basic commands including sit, stay, no, and come. Check with your local jurisdiction for obedience classes.

    Make sure your dog has up to date shots and that there is a way to identify your dog if found loose. It may mean the difference for a child to have to go through Rabies shots.
    It doesn't take a bite to cause Rabies. A little girl in our area contracted Rabies from a paw scratch. She miraculously survived but it will takes months for her to rehabilitate.

    Enjoy your dog and be safe out there.

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