Let's Have Some Doggone Fun! Columbia Gas of Ohio Unveils New Safety Mascot Digger Dog®

Playful Pup Will Educate the Public about Safety and Awareness around Utilities

Aug 11, 2015, 12:00 ET from Columbia Gas of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Gas of Ohio has unleashed its new safety mascot, Digger Dog®.

Digger Dog®, a friendly beagle with a wagging tail, huge smile and a yellow safety vest, educates the public about the importance of calling 811 before digging, as well as what to do if you smell natural gas.

"Digger Dog® is the perfect ambassador for these important safety messages," said Dan Creekmur, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio. "We're excited to introduce him to communities throughout the state."

Since 2012, there have been more than 1,000 gas lines damaged in the state because people did not call 811.  However, Ohio law says that everyone must call 811 at least two business days before digging.

811 is the state's free service to request that utilities mark their underground lines.

"We also feel Digger Dog® will be a great role model for children and have a lasting impact on them," Creekmur said. "Children are the homeowners and excavators of tomorrow, so it's important to educate them on these messages early in life."

Digger Dog® will also be using his sense of smell to raise awareness about what to do if you smell gas. If the air smells like rotten eggs, if you see dying vegetation or bubbling water, or hear a hissing sound, immediately leave the area and call Columbia Gas of Ohio at 1-800-344-4077 and 911.

Digger Dog® will continue to spread these safety messages throughout Ohio. He is scheduled to appear at the Columbia Gas of Ohio National Safe Digging Day event at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 11, at the Columbia Gas of Ohio headquarters, 290 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, OH 43215. Also, look for Digger Dog® at Ohio sporting events and festivals this summer and fall.

For more information on Digger Dog®, safe digging practices or Columbia Gas of Ohio, visit www.columbiagasohio.com.

Editor's note: To book Digger Dog® for a media appearance or community event, please contact Dave Rau at 614-460-6808

Columbia Gas of Ohio, headquartered in Columbus, is one of the seven energy-distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). Serving approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, Columbia Gas of Ohio is the largest natural gas utility in the state.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150811/257532

SOURCE Columbia Gas of Ohio