Liam’s Family Time Celebration set for May 14
National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the third week of May, will be kicked off in Cape Coral by the Liam J. Perk Foundation’s second annual Liam’s Family Time Celebration on May 14 at Rotary Park Environmental Center.
The first celebration consisted of a ribbon cutting for the opening of the playground at Rotary Park.
Ginny Pulisciano, a neighbor of the Perk family, said a fabulous piece of land was donated to the family so they could build a playground and adult workstations around it for the community to enjoy.
“It is very well thought out,” she said about the playground.
Laurie Posey said this year they wanted to focus on educating the public about dog bite prevention.
“There are over 45 million households in America with dogs,” Joey Perk said in a prepared statement. “Almost five million dog bites are estimated every year with approximately 30 fatalities. As of May 4, 2011 there have been 14 deaths in America due to dog bites this year.”
Posey said it is important to educate people, so they understand how to communicate correctly with their dogs, so children and the dog can live safely under one roof. She said the information is not intended to scare people, but rather help them realize that dogs communicate by someone’s body language.
The celebration will kick off with a family fun walk, which is also open up for dogs to participate. Registration for the walk will begin at 8 a.m. the day of the event, which is $18 for adults, $12 for youths and $6 for dogs. Registration also an be done online before the event at www.liamjperkfoundation.org.
The 1.75 mile walk will begin at 9 a.m. from Rotary Park and continue on to Glover Bight Boardwalk.
“It is a nice walk down there and it will be early enough where it’s not too hot,” she said.
Posey said the proceeds from the walk will benefit Waggin Tails Dog Park and the awareness sign that was created for the park. She said the sign shows the common stress signals, how to meet a dog, and how to act like a tree around the dog.
The free event will feature various activities for the children and adults. A Let’s Talk Dog tent for dog bite prevention will be set up with different stations, so the children will learn the proper way to pat a dog, how to “become a tree” when encountering a dog and how to use the correct body language when around a dog.
Posey said when you act like a tree the dog finds you boring and runs away.
She said the children will receive a certificate when they complete all of the stations.
“It is really fun to teach the students because they really get it and you can tell they learned something,” Posey said.
Pulisciano said the foundation is all about providing education sessions on dog bite prevention. She said they teach the kids how to approach animals and what signs to look out for when a dog does not want to be touched.
The event also will feature a variety of vendors, along with ice cream and food.
“We are hoping to have a good turnout, educate the community and have a fun walk in the morning,” Posey said.
She said they have worked with a dog trainer from North Carolina to further their education about dogs interacting with 3-month-old children to 3-year-old children. Posey said they can offer the educational program to anyone who is interested in learning about how to manage a household with active toddlers and dogs.
For more information visit www.liamjperkfoundation.org.
The foundation was founded in March 2010 after the Perk family went through the tragic experience of losing their son to a fatal bite from their pet dog on Dec. 22, 2009.
The foundation’s mission is “through awareness and education, helping parents and dog owners create safe and healthy home and public environments for children. Ultimately, enhancing and promoting the safety and health of children in all aspects of life.”