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Doggie Door Tragedy Brings Accident Awareness

Real Estate Agent with Compass DRE 00997649

Doggie door tragedy and 18-month-old baby hits close to home when a toddler crawled through and fell into a backyard swimming pool in our Thousand Oaks community.  If this story can save one life it's worth the awareness.  Doggie doors are just one more way that young children can access a back yard and disaster.  

                                                                    18 month old infant dies after being found unresponsive in Westlake Village swimming pool

We all know the dangers of swimming pools and that is something that we all take into consideration when we are enjoying the outdoors or just near a pool with a small child. While we hear about safety fencing, door alarms and safety covers it’s not mentioned very often that doggie doors that open to the pool area are just as much a safety concern.

Sweet 17 month old George, passed away last night about 36 hours after he crawled through an 11 x 17 inch dog door and fell into a swimming pool. He was affectionate, curious, and friendly with family and strangers alike, and loved to be cuddled, sung and read to. His life was cut short by something that appears to be so harmless as a doggie door. I knew him and I knew his family and it’s just a tragedy for them.

Passing blame or pointing fingers is not what this post is about. It is about understanding and awareness of the dangers of access to areas such as pools, ponds or other bodies of water and the high potential for drowning.

This is a real story of tragedy that struck a local family this past week and unfortunately it is a real danger all across the country.  

As real estate agents we often have listings or possibly showing homes with doggie doors. These open areas to the outside where there could be a pool, street, dog or any other dangers need to be addressed in order to prevent situations like this from happening.

We have all read the safety tips and consumer alerts and awareness for swimming pools and safety for children. Maybe more lists should include “pet or doggie door” access to the backyard as a hazard.

If this awareness can save one life its worth posting and sharing. Here is the local article and more information as  well as information on how you can help this family or offer a kind word or prayer. 

As scary as it sounds...children's drown without a sound.  Special prayers to the little boy and his family.

Posted by

Teri Pacitto Group, Cal BRE #00997649

Broker Associate, REALTOR® | SFR®, CLHMS, CDPE, CHS®

RE/MAX Olson & Associates, Inc. 

30699 Russell Ranch Road, Suite #100, Westlake Village, CA 91362 | ( Office: 805.494.4663| ( Mobile: 805.444.7013 www.TeriPacittoGroup.com 

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Comments (57)

Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Teri - how very sad and unimaginable, but it does happen... all too frequently with pool situations. The doggie door is just another angle. Thank you for bringing it to our attention; can't be too careful with toddlers.

Apr 08, 2016 05:27 AM
Teri Pacitto

Olga, yes very sad indeed.  Something so simple as a doggie door can be such a danger.  I appreciate your comments and hopefully by sharing this will bring awareness.  Have a wonderful day!

Apr 10, 2016 06:51 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Oh my goodness this is a sad post very sad oh my goodness.... Praying for the family . 

Apr 08, 2016 08:37 AM
Teri Pacitto

Hi Laura,  it's so sad.  Appreciate your prayers as I'm sure the family will as well.  Appreciate you stopping by.  

Apr 10, 2016 06:53 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Teri- this is so sad.  And, I am glad that you shared this with us to remind us that while these doggie doors are convenient, they are too convenient to use by our innocent wee ones. 

Apr 08, 2016 11:51 AM
Teri Pacitto

Hi Kathy...yes, very sad tragedy.  Who would think something like this could happen?  Hopefully this gets out more and more families can be aware of this danger to small children.  Thank you for your kind comments. 

Apr 10, 2016 06:55 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Terri. This is such a tragedy for sure. I have always thought these doors were dangerous for so many reasons like letting people and wild animals in. This story breaks my heart.

Apr 10, 2016 03:42 AM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Hi Shelia...I too often thought of what can come in through a doggie door but it never occurred to me that a child would crawl through. Definitely a heartbreaking story that hopefully can create awareness to save another life.  Appreciate your time in responding.  

Apr 10, 2016 06:58 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Oh how terrible and how sad.

My heart goes out to that family. 

Apr 10, 2016 07:52 AM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Marte  - It is very sad for this young family. Something so common as a pet door would not normally be the cause of something so tragic.  Appreciate your comments.

Apr 10, 2016 09:44 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This very sad story is a very good reminder for parents to be more alert.

Jun 29, 2016 09:55 PM
Teri Pacitto

Roy that is so true.  Little ones act and move quickly!   Appreciate your comments.

Jul 06, 2016 02:19 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

What a horrible tragedy. Most parents would never have given that doggie door a second thought regarding their childrens safety. Your post will bring awareness to a potentially deadly hazard. My condolences to you and your friends.

Jun 29, 2016 10:24 PM
Teri Pacitto

Isn't that the truth!  It's not anything I ever thought of before.  I will now.  Thank you for your kind words.

Jul 06, 2016 02:21 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Teri Pacitto ,  It's a shame that it takes a incident like this to bring awareness of the safety issues involving the combination of doggie-doors and swimming pools, combined or seperately.

Jun 30, 2016 09:33 AM
Teri Pacitto

Very true and I think more attention to this is warranted.  It might just save a life.  Appreciate your comments and pass the word of safety and doggie doors.  That's the goal here.

Jul 06, 2016 02:22 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

What tragic news this is. I am sorry for this families loss.

Jul 06, 2016 02:14 PM
Teri Pacitto

Very tragic indeed Evelyn.  Who would ever think someone installed a door and a child would go through.  Very sad. 

Jul 06, 2016 02:23 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh my gosh, I didn't hear about this but, what a horrible tragedy.  I'm so sorry, Teri.  We think about keeping the door's deadbolted to keep our children safe but, don't think about pet access doors.

Sep 05, 2016 01:03 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

What a terrible tragedy.....

But even without doggy door, the safe gate should be installed around a pool or any water feature. 

Oct 24, 2016 04:34 PM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Inna Ivchenko I totally agree with you on that.

Oct 25, 2016 01:06 PM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Debe Maxwell every precaution should be taken.  Unfortunate event.

Oct 25, 2016 01:09 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

How horrible. I cannot imagine the hell that family is in. Great idea to share and make people aware of the danger.

Nov 12, 2016 04:09 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

What a sad story.  I don't much care for doggie doors.  I also think infants should be taught to swim as soon as they can.  Here is Hawaii you'll often see very small kids learning to swim and surf.

Jan 22, 2017 04:15 PM
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

That's heart breaking!  Thanks for bringing attention to this potential hazard.

Feb 08, 2017 08:02 PM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

This is so sad, I can hardly read it.  But I understand the need for bringing awareness to it.  My heart is breaking for them, even a year later. -Kasey

Mar 03, 2017 10:07 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

How terribly sad for everyone. Thank you so much for bringing this situation to the attention of all. If one life is saved through your blog, you have done a wonderful service.

Nov 05, 2017 03:52 PM