Connecticut Kid Governor Jessica Brocksom launched a campaign in Milford Thursday called Heat Kills, to remind people not to leave their pets in cars during the hot summer months.
State Rep. Pam Staneski (R-119) helped Jessica, a Milford fifth-grader, organize the local effort, which is modeled after one that Staneski’s colleague, Fairfield State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), started in Fairfield.
Staneski said Milford is the second city in the state to adopt the program.
“Since we have the Connecticut Kid Governor and her platform is ‘animal cruelty, let’s end it,’ this is absolutely a great opportunity,” Staneski said.
Staneski said the House delegation from Milford partnered with Jessica to establish the program, which will see posters, bumper stickers, pamphlets and similar items distributed to spread the word about keeping animals safe. A $400 donation from Tesla Motors helped with expenses.
“I wanted to do something about this issue,” Jessica said. “I strongly support laws or initiatives that seek to end animal cruelty. I hope this program and our signs across the city will remind people not to leave animals in their cars and that it will save lives of animals in our community.”
City Clerk Joanne Rohrig’s office sent out Heat Kills fliers along with annual notices about dog license renewals, and she said she’s gotten a great response. She said the campaign, in addition to reminding pet owners not to leave their pets in cars, encourages people to call police if they see a dog locked in a hot car.
Jessica was joined at her school, John F. Kennedy School in Milford, Thursday by Staneski, State Reps. Charlie Ferraro (R-117) and Kim Rose (D-118), as well as Milford Mayor Ben Blake, Milford Animal Control Officer Scott Ellingson, and others to kick off the program.
The mayor said the issue is an important one. He said when it’s 70 degrees outside, it can be 120 degrees in a car; and when it’s 80 degrees, it can rise to 150 degrees or 160 degrees in a car.
“So it becomes an oven,” Blake said.
Last November Jessica was elected as the 2017 Connecticut’s Kid Governor by the state’s fifth graders after running a successful campaign promoting the humane treatment of animals.
Jessica will visit the Milford Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to talk to them about posting and helping distribute Heat Kills campaign material.
She and the state legislators hope to see “Heat Kills” become a statewide program.
Alan Woolmer, service manager at Tesla Motors, said his daughter is a student at Kennedy School with Jessica. The company decided the campaign was appropriate for the company to support because it ties in with the company’s clean air initiative.
“It’s all about breathing clean air,” Woolmer said