Thursday, March 10, 2011

Animals should not die in swimming pools

I am so distressed right now. I just read an article about four dogs and a raccoon drowning in a Jacksonville swimming pool.

Seems the pool had been neglected so badly and the water was so murky, the poor animals couldn't tell it was water they were stepping onto.

Stuff like this just makes me crazy. I mean, we have a lovely inground swimming pool in our backyard for which we are extremely thankful. It provides us with many hours of fun and exercise. Right from the beginning we spent a lot of effort to make it safe for people and animals.

The first step we took to protect everyone was to have the screen enclosure people out the very next day after the pool was installed. They erected a screen room over the entire pool and deck area, one with 2 doors with handles and key holes so high only adults are able to reach it.

Next, we never, ever, did I say, never, walk away from the pool without making sure those doors are locked and we have the key in hand. We never leave the key in either door, even if we intend on returning to the pool in a few minutes. Frankly, we just assume all children in the neighborhood are 7 feet tall and waiting to get the slip on us so they can take over our pool.

Also, much to the amusement of my father, we purchased something called a Frog Log a few years back. It looks like a little sliding board made of Styrofoam. The Frog Log provides a place for small animals - including raccoons, frogs, squirrels, etc., to climb up out of the pool in case they chew through the screen and fall in. These little devices are affordable, easy to use, and they work.

The last thing we do to keep our pool safe for all is to keep it pristine. Please, all you pool owners out there, take precautions and always keep your pool clean. If you don't know how, contact your nearby pool supplies store and ask them to show you, step by step, what to do.

In the tragedy mentioned above, the city has stepped in and will send someone in to "secure" the pool. I hope the property owner will be held responsible for the deaths and the materials required to do what he should have done from day one of his pool ownership.

There are many awful things that should never happen in this world and allowing animals or children to lose their lives in unsupervised, non-maintained swimming pools is certainly one of them!