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Chief’s Message - October 25, 2019

We encourage our residents to stay active and take advantage of the cooler months to enjoy walks or outdoor activities. However, we also want you to think about safety first. We continuously receive reports of incidents where residents encounter unknown animals or critters. For example, on the morning of October 4, a resident was attacked by an unknown animal, possibly a bobcat, in the area of Inverrary. Although Bobcats can usually be found in the deep forest, swamps and ecological territories in the wetlands or hammocks, they are well distributed throughout Florida and can show up anywhere. Bobcats are usually tan or yellowish-brown with dark brown or black streaks. They are about two times bigger than a domestic animals and identified because of their pointed ears and short black tufts with a short tail that looks to be bobbed. In this instance, injuries were sustained, while the animal in question turned out to be a raccoon. In anycase, its imperative to heed your surroundings for whatever nature brings.

I know too well how important it is to be connected, but sometimes it is essential to disconnect from your cell phones and other mobile devices. Avoid being distracted by phone conversations, tweets, or catching up on emails. Do not wear headphones, or wear it in one ear so that you can be alerted to dangers. Remember that your ears are an essential part of sensing threats and warnings so that you can seek safety. 

Be Alert! Make sure that someone is aware that you will be out for a walk in case of an emergency. Remember always to practice safety and avoid walking alone, especially during dark hours. However, if you must walk alone, keep your head up and at a steady pace.

You might consider carrying an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered attack deterrent spray with you while walking with or without your furry friends. Inquire in a pet store or with your veterinarian to make sure that the product you choose is designed as an environmentally friendly, safe and effective option to allow pet owners to keep pets safe by deterring attacking dogs/animals at a safe distance. In the unfortunate case that a dog or other animal does attack, EPA registered dog sprays provide an all-natural food-grade spray formulation which stops the attack safely. Another tool to consider is a deterrent air horn, which can emit a very loud sound similar to a thunder blast scaring the animal away, giving to you time to take cover and call for help.

If you encounter an animal, especially one that you are not familiar with, do not approach the animal and try to maintain your distance. Do not attempt to feed, catch or pet an animal that you find in the street. If an animal approaches you, move slowly away and try to keep calm. If the animal appears to be injured or aggressive, take shelter and immediately and call 911 for help.

Reminders

We invite you to join us during this year's Halloween Safety Day/Night Out Against Crime on Friday, October 25, 2019.

Also, mark your calendars and plan on attending this year's first Slow Roll series kicking off from John Mullin Park on Saturday, November 23, 2019, from 9am to 12pm. Stay tuned and check out our website for more information about our upcoming events.

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