In Massachusetts there is legislation to close the antifreeze poisoning loophole. S.88 An Act Relative to Anti-freeze and Engine Coolant, which would require the addition of a bittering agent to wholesale containers of engine coolant or anti-freeze, which were exempted in the law that passed during the last legislative session. This would expand the current antifreeze law to prevent poisonings of children and animals. On June 12, 2012, S.88 passed the Senate unanimously and is awaiting a final vote in the House. Find out what the laws are in your area and speak to your representatives and let them know that you want to put an end to child and animal antifreeze poisoning deaths.
As of 2011, Massachusetts law requires the addition of a bittering agent to retail containers of antifreeze to deter ingestion and poisonings of children and animals. However, many people get their cars serviced at garages, which use wholesale containers of antifreeze that are not treated with a bittering agent. Leaks of untreated antifreeze still result in poisonings. In MA legislation has been filed that would require that wholesale containers, such as those used at automotive service stations, also contain a bittering agent to prevent ingestion. Find out what your state requires and speak to your representatives about a national law.
One solution to the antifreeze death problem is to require all antifreeze manufacturers to add in a non-toxic bittering agent that makes it taste awful. This will save countless lives of children and pets. Many states, and even some cities, are considering legislation requiring the addition of the bitterent denatonium benzoate to antifreeze. This would make the antifreeze virtually impossible for a child or animal to be poisoned by the usually sweet-tasting liquid. Find out if this is required where you live.
The public can help protect children and dogs from heat-related illness. If you witness a child or dog left unattended in a hot car, don’t assume the owner will be “right back”. Also do not assume that the child or dog is safe since the windows are open a crack. You can save a life when you see a child or dog left in a parked car by calling the local police or 911 immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
When leaving a vehicle, check to make sure everyone is out of the car. This includes all pets and kids. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
On a 70-degree day, even with car windows slightly rolled down, the temperature inside a car can exceed 120 degrees in 20 minutes and 150 degrees in 40 minutes. At those temperatures it does not take long for children or pets to become sick. Left in this situation children and dogs can become dehydrated, overheated, pass out, or die.
Parents who neglect or abuse animals frequently subject their own children to similar hardships. Sometimes these guardians treat their children with actual abuse and other times they neglect them with poor living conditions. For example, Indiana parents faced felony charges after authorities reportedly discovered their two children as well as three dogs languishing in their filthy home. According to news sources, officials first found a tethered dog that was deprived of food and water outside the home. Upon entering the couple’s residence, investigators reportedly found a 3-month-old boy lying near piles of feces, trash, and rotten food. They also found a half-clothed toddler and two additional dogs. In another case, Illinois authorities found 40 parasite-ridden dogs languishing amid 6 inches of feces on property occupied by an Illinois parent. According to news reports, officials responding to neighbors’ concerns found the sick and emaciated dogs confined to filthy animal carriers before confirming that three children—ages 3, 10, and 15—lived in the horrific conditions as well. If you witness abused or neglected animals in your neighborhood, report it immediately. You may end up saving children along with the animals.
Children who abuse animals are often displaying signs that they are victims of physical, mental, or sexual abuse. As a child’s anger escalates as a result of the continued abuse, he or she may ultimately lash out against humans. When a child matures and becomes a parent, the person’s anger is often vented upon his or her own children, continuing the cycle of violence. If you hear of a child that abuses an animal, seek help for them right away.
STARTING TOMORROW: From Nov 1 – Jan 1 we will be collecting old towels, blankets, toys and office supplies for the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham shelter. The abused and abandoned animals awaiting adoption are in desperate need of these items and YOU can make a difference! This is our 9th annual collection drive. We will travel to your home even if you are not a client. Please tell all of your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. For more information or to schedule a pick up, call 781-492-8700.
Today’s Animal Rescue League Collection Drive pick-ups are in Wellesley, Wayland & Sudbury. The dogs, cats & other animals thank you.