Search dogs are a critical part of our nation’s disaster response system but their work comes with risks. To help ensure our nation’s search dogs are ready to serve their communities in time of need, Superfit Canine is hosting tactical veterinary training courses.
“They are learning what to do in a chaotic situation with a working dog, so a high drive job. So they are learning how to stabilize a dog, and to know what to look for if there is something severely wrong so they know what to do,” said Eric Darling with Superfit Canine.
Search and rescue canine handlers and medical personnel representing about a dozen departments from six states participated. The 2-day course is a rare opportunity for these elite canine handlers and medical personnel to prepare for veterinary emergencies that might occur when search dogs are working in real-world disasters.
“Like a uniformed officer we want to give them as much care to them as we possibly can. So that is what we are going to do. Is to take the training that we need to, to do the same thing very similar to a person and so you will keep them breathing and stop their bleeding,” said Ventura County firefighter Brian Kinsley.
Students were also taught about cutting edge techniques for providing medical care for canines, and how a canine’s medical treatment should be different than a humans, whether it be CPR or treating a collapsed lung out in the field.
“You can read in a book and you can see in pictures but we are getting a chance to do some hands on skills training here with animals that are bleeding. Obviously they are fake animals but you get there and you are confronted with a real life situation and doing it. It is completely different than just reading about it so we get a chance to practice. So now during the turmoil of a real event we will be that much better able to respond,” said Captain Scott Quirarte with the Ventura County Fire Department.
The training is paid for by the handlers personally or their corresponding department.
You can find more information on SuperFit Canine, here.