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Coloring contest will represent healthy pets

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Residents can learn how to be responsible pet owners at the Gold Country Fair this weekend. The Auburn Police Department is teaming with several non-profit organizations for the community-based animal program Safety First. Safety First members plan to provide educational materials, live demonstrations and pet-friendly displays to help teach owners how to give the best possible care to their pets, according to Auburn Police Chief Valerie Harris. Those interested in the information can stop by the Public Safety Display booth near the High Street entrance to the fairgrounds. At 5 and 7 p.m. Friday the Placer County SPCA will give demonstrations, and the first 15 children to attend will receive free gift bags. At 5 p.m. Saturday there will be a crate training demo and coupons for new crates. At 7 p.m. Saturday a presentation will outline tips for leadership with dogs. Fairgoers can also visit with a therapy dog on Saturday, according to Harris. During the SPCA demonstrations community members can also participate in a raffle drawing for $100 gift cards for local pet stores. The booth will also have a limited number of $25 fencing/kenneling coupons from Home Depot and coupons for $25 off purchases of animal crates, Harris said. As part of the “Celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership” event, children between 5 and 10 years old are invited to participate in a “Be Kind to Animals” coloring contest. Children who want to color should make their own drawing or find and color a page in any coloring book that shows a well-cared-for pet. Artists should include a title or statement on their drawings about how to be a responsible pet owner. Children can drop off their creations before 7 p.m. Saturday at the booth. There will also be paper and crayons provided at the booth if kids want to make their creations at the fair. Information about contest winners will be available at the booth Sunday, according to Harris. Harris said she thinks the information offered at the fair will be beneficial to the community. “I think pet ownership is much like parenting in that we become good parents partly through good role modeling and through information and training,” Harris said. “The information and training that will be available at the fair will help to make better pet owners.” Harris said she hopes this event helps teach community members things like if a dog has a well-fitting leash, a dogfight could be prevented. “Even if it’s just one incident it stops, we have achieved something,” she said. ~Bridget Jones