The two newest members of Lexington’s public safety team were sworn in Monday at Wellington Dog Park, where they went to the podium on all fours to receive their service badges.
Jaxon, a Dalmatian mix adopted by the Lexington Fire Department in 2016, and Atlas, a Blue Merle Catahoula who has been with the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control office since he was three weeks old, have been training extensively to become community ambassadors.
They’ll be representing their agencies at schools and other city events to raise awareness for fire and animal safety.
Rescued from the Lexington Humane Society, Jaxon lives with Lexington Fire Chief Kristin Chilton.
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“I have other dogs too, so he’s just fit right in with our family,” Chilton said. “He’s just another addition, and he comes back and forth to work.”
Jaxon has been assigned to the Public Information Office, where he helps teach fire safety and prevention to students in Fayette County.
It’s important that we package lifesaving messages in ways that will be received most effectively.
Fire Chief Kristin Chilton
“Children and the elderly are the most at risk for fire, so we believe that Jax is going to be a big help with us getting the attention of the kids and teaching them about fire prevention,” she said. “It’s important that we package lifesaving messages in ways that will be received most effectively, and we know from a lot of research that children relate to animals in ways that oftentimes the message won’t be reached through adults.”
Animal Care and Control Chief Nathan Bowling said his agency’s public information program started in 2014, but Atlas will be the agency’s first canine representative.
Atlas will be visiting schools and making appearances at other city events to help teach children about safe and proper ways to interact with animals.
Paidin Dermody: 859-231-3335