swimming pools are synonymous with summer fun, but not for everyone. Swimming
pools can be deadly for pets and wildlife. According to recent statistics, an
estimated one of every 1,027 pets drown in backyard pools each year. This
tragic figure doesn’t account for the tens of thousands of wild animals that
suffer the same fate.
example, think of a small frog that jumps in for a refreshing swim but finds
the water’s surface too far below the pool’s edge to crawl out, or a field
mouse that leans over the edge for a quick sip only to fall in and swim around
hear about pool drownings through our wildlife hotline,” says Laura Simon,
field director for urban wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS), “and it is tragic, because these drownings are preventable.” Animals,
from skunks to mice, ducks, fledgling birds, lizards, chipmunks, frogs, and
snakes can find themselves in a pool without firm footing. Curious animal
babies are particularly at risk.
few simple pool precautions can help you dramatically lower the risk of pets
and wildlife drowning in pools:
leave your pets unsupervised in a yard with a pool.
building a pool, design lounge ledges along the sides. These are just below the
water’s surface and provide an easy escape route from the water.
a fence around the pool to keep out animals such as dogs.
one or more water-exit devices such as the Skamper-Ramp (www.skamper-ramp.com)
or Frog Log (www.froglog.us. These buoyant devices are placed along the pool’s
edge and allow animals to get out.
knotted nylon ropes at strategic locations along the sides. Make sure the knot
is at the water’s surface so the animal can more easily climb out. (This
technique works for climbing animals such as raccoons, mice,