Puppets Preach Dog Safety
With Who Let the Dogs Out blaring in the gymnasium and the friendly Neigh Bear dancing to the music, State Farm Fire Claim Representative Carolyn Pitre and her band of puppeteers take the stage at LaSalle Elementary in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in hopes of preventing dog bite injuries with children.
For nearly 15 years, this dog bite program has taught thousands of children dog safety. It all started with an old refrigerator box and the handy State Farm educational booklet “Fido – Friend or Foe?” Over the years, with the help of Carolyn’s dad, the puppets have earned a real stage and continue to develop their program. As a former school teacher, Carolyn feels right at home in front of 200 pre-K to first graders and loves carrying on this message year after year.
“It’s all about education and prevention. I’ve worked some really bad dog bite claims over the years, and we want to do our part to educate little ones on safety with dogs,” states Carolyn.
Careful Clara (Karen Hope), Safety Sam (Troy Alfred) and Watchful Willy (Barry Hunter) teach the kids all types of dog etiquette and safety. The kids learn how to let the dog smell their fist first like a “hand shake,” and how to roll up into a ball in case a dog does attack. With help from Cassandra Whitty and Marvin Snyder, the practice session helps to ensure that all the kids are prepared to interact safely with dogs. Karen, Troy, Barry, Cassandra and Marvin all know the facts about dog safety and share the knowledge they’ve learned on the job at State Farm.
Whether a dog is a family friend or a stray on the street, the kids of LaSalle Elementary leave the State Farm puppet show each year with knowledge that could save their life.