Issue 27 | October 6, 2023
Open Spots Remain
for Fall Citizens Academy
Do you have interest in how county government works? Now is your chance. There are still several spots open for those wishing to take the Sumter County Citizens Academy. But time is running out as it begins Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The Citizens Academy consists of five 3.5-hour days in which residents learn about 20 county agencies and departments. Attendees also get a tour of the 911 center, Animal Services, Public Works, the Tax Collector's Office, and an up close and personal view of a fire truck and accompanying equipment.

Here is what some Citizens Academy graduates said regarding the program:

Steve Messerli said, “Highly informative with very engaged, dedicated and professional staff and elected officials. Excellent learning experience.”

“Fantastic experience! Was truly impressed by how much the county does and the passion everyone seemed to have for their jobs and the county,” said Paul Dillmuth.

Beverly Bone enjoyed the tours. “I liked going to different locations and talking to the people who do the work,” she said.

If interested, sign up for the Academy at the link below.

Fire Prevention Month Spotlights Cooking Safety

Sumter County Fire & EMS will be busy during Fire Prevention Week, which is October 8-14, informing residents and school children across the County about the importance of fire safety. The entire month of October is devoted to Fire Prevention, however.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.” The goal is to educate the community on the importance of keeping themselves and others safe when cooking. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires across the U.S. 

“We advise residents to stay in the kitchen when cooking, and keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop,” said Shane Lanoue, Division Chief, Sumter County Fire & EMS. “This can help prevent fires in the kitchen.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), only one of every three American households have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71 percent of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47 percent of those have practiced it.

Planning is critical. If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. NFPA advises homeowners to develop an escape plan, which includes drawing a map of the home showing all the doors and windows. Discuss the plan with all family members.
It’s a Pawfect time to Get a Dog
During Dog Adoption Month
October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and Sumter County Animal Services has dozens of dogs to choose from to add to your home.

While puppies are often too difficult to resist, the most loyal of all dogs may well be the middle- to senior-aged dog rescued from a shelter. The advantages of adopting an older dog may include fewer accidents as older dogs are often house broken or just need a refresher and they tend to be less destructive with chewing, a common problem with young dogs.

Blizzard and Bear are two mature adult dogs at Animal Services that are looking for a good home. They are a bonded pair of mixed-breed dogs that love and rely on each other. Because they have grown up together, Sumter County Animal Services would prefer if they were adopted together.

If you already own a dog or love dogs but cannot commit to having a dog in your home long term, please consider becoming a doggy foster parent. National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month is the perfect time to contact Sumter County Animal Services about providing foster care for a dog. There is a great need for people willing to provide temporary, safe, caring homes for dogs in transition who need to be observed before being made available for adoption.

There are plenty of dogs and cats at Sumter County Animal Services to adopt or foster, so please visit at 819 CR 529 in Lake Panasoffkee, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.