For Release: 08/09/2019

Peoples Gas introduces new safety ambassadog

Utility and 811 Chicago commemorate 811 Day with safe digging demo at Lincoln Park Zoo

CHICAGO — In honor of national 811 Day, Peoples Gas unveiled Chief, a 5-year-old rescue dog from Felines & Canines Adoption Center, as its 2019 safety “ambassadog” during a safe digging demonstration today at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Chief won the company’s annual “Doggone it!” photo contest, which invites customers to nominate their pets to be the next safety ambassador — or ambassadog — by submitting photos of their dogs digging. In his new role, Chief will help educate community members about the importance of safe digging and be featured in advertising materials for Peoples Gas.

National 811 Day is observed each year on Aug. 11 to raise awareness about calling 811 before beginning any digging projects. Activities such as landscaping, installing a mailbox and building a deck are among the projects that require a call to 811. In Illinois, people are asked to call at least 48 hours ahead of time.

Peoples Gas partnered with 811 Chicago to commemorate national 811 Day with a demonstration of how professional locators mark underground utility lines. The demonstration, at Lincoln Park Zoo, served as a reminder to homeowners and others to call 811 for locating and marking underground facilities before excavation.

“The safety of our customers, employees and communities is our top priority, and we want to ensure they understand the importance of calling 811 before digging,” said Dan Germeraad, manager — system integrity, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. “Our new safety ambassadog, Chief, will help us raise awareness in the community about safe digging so that we can continue to create a culture of damage prevention.”

811 Chicago was also present at the celebration to provide information on safety precautions before digging.

“Every nine minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. It is important to remember that reaching out to the local one-call service is the first step to a safe excavation on any project,” said Jai Kalayil, 811 Chicago.

Peoples Gas has approximately 4,000 miles of underground pipelines for the distribution and transportation of natural gas in the city of Chicago. Natural gas and electric lines are buried underneath property throughout the city and could be in striking distance of anyone digging into the ground. Visit or 811 Chicago for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

For More Information, Contact:

  • From: Vanessa Hall
    312-240-4774 (office)
    773-391-1295 (cell)


WEC Energy Group