This week there has been an interesting flurry about pet safety. The topics have ranged from kitten climbing and indoor living over at the Pet Connection, to pet food recall (again–but this time the pet food recall also includes human food), and even I took a pressure bite from an animal I was not even training!
Like Gina, I am pretty embarrassed–I’ve had four bites in my 30 year career (that I can remember). The list is not too distinguished or impressive because one was from a mouse (who was climbing his tail as I was planning to feed him to a snake), a wild caught cockatoo I was taming (who panicked when a stranger approached), and this week I took a bite from an old collie on Wednesday (lucky for me he only managed to bruise me) who came out of no where.
Geez, with all the animals I’ve trained you’d think I would have been nailed by an exotic animal…oh yeah, I was–my first bite was from a coyote pup during a show–right on the boob.
Ouch! Did I get sympathy from my colleague? No way, she just said she was glad she was not as well endowed as I was! I was just glad that the only witnesses were the counselors for the school for the blind where we were doing the show, and yes, I was also glad that the blood didn’t seep through the uniform!
Anyway, the moment you make an error–forget to lock a cage, think a pet doesn’t need a tag, take an animal outside without a leash–it can backfire in a second. Here is an example of an animal that took advantage of an unlocked cage:
Finally, many animal errors can be serious–the recent Sumatran Tiger Attack at the San Antonio Zoo happened because the keeper forgot to close and lock a door–he could have lost his life.
The lesson? Be diligent with your animals for their safety and yours…more on the collie situation later.