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Pet Emergency Training keeps first responders ready for injured animals

First responders are used to helping people who are hurt during an emergency, but they may sometimes need to treat injured pets as well.

One local non-profit is making sure those responders are ready to handle that situation.

C.A.R.E. 4 Paws held its Pet Emergency Training for Montecito firefighters on Monday in Santa Barbara. Those firefighters got the chance to bandage wounds, give CPR and treat animals who are overheated. C.A.R.E. 4 Paws board president Chris Harris says that last scenario is especially common.

“Many of the treatments are just time is of the essence,” Harris said. “The basic care, especially for, say, an overheating pet. There could be irreparable damage done fairly quickly and first responders obviously being the first ones there, just giving them some basic techniques in terms of how to efficiently cool an animal is really a critical component of care.”

Advanced Veterinary Specialists (AVS) provided the medical training.

“I do think that the first responders come in contact with a lot of pets that need them,” C.A.R.E. 4 Paws co-founder and executive director Isabelle Gullö said. “And they may not always know exactly what steps to take to take care of that pet. So this would bridge that gap.”

Firefighters also worked with dog trainer Brian Glen on how to handle a territorial animal who may be protective of an owner or part of a home, which could make it difficult to treat someone who is injured or investigate a scene.

“A lot of what we need is to create space,” Glen said of first responders confronted with a territorial dog. “We don’t have to make friends with that dog. We don’t have to be a dog’s best friend. We don’t need to even, most of the time, even physically touch the dog. just need to create space.”

C.A.R.E. 4 Paws will hold more training sessions for Montecito and Santa Barbara City firefighters on Thursday and next Thursday, Oct. 31. Gullö says the organization’s goal is to eventually work with all first responders in Santa Barbara County.

You can find out more about C.A.R.E. 4 Paws on their website.

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Animals

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