“Fido Bag” a Lifeline for Pets in Emergency Situations

The fetch Foundation is an Arizona-based non-profit that seeks to save the lives of family pets in fires and other emergency situations.  They report that half a million pets are impacted by fire each year in the United States.  40,000 family pets die from smoke inhalation annually.

To address this problem, fetch has created the Fido Bag.  Fido Bags are given to fire departments and other first responders so that family pets can be saved.  They contain a special cone-shaped oxygen mask designed to fit over an animal’s muzzle.  Also included are burn sheets, bandages, rinsing saline, and protective restraints.  Pets are also provided with collapsible water dishes and toys.

Fire departments that receive a Fido Bag also get specialized veterinary training on how to use the supplies to save a pet’s life.  Be sure to talk to your local fire department to see if they are trained and equipped to respond to pets affected by fire.

For more information on fire safety and preparedness for pet owners, check out this helpful guide from the ASPCA.


Long-Term Health Effects of Wildfires on Cats

Veterinarians at the University of California, Davis have been studying the health of cats affected by the recent California wildfires.  They have found that cats who suffered burns and smoke inhalation developed a high incidence of cardiovascular problems.

Researchers examined 51 cats referred for veterinary treatment after wildfires in 2017 and 2018.  More than half of the cats had serious cardiovascular problems.

Specifically, a high incidence of heart muscle thickening and blood clot formation (or the risk of blood clot formation) was found in many of the cats.  Six of the cats in the study had to be euthanized for cardiac problems.

The researchers report that humans who have experienced burns are also at risk for cardiovascular issues, but they found a higher incidence in the cats, even among those who had only moderate burns.

They note that further research into animals impacted by fire can translate into a greater understanding of how human health is affected.

“We also know that these cats inhaled smoke in a very urban environment, exposing them to toxicants,” said one of the researchers. “These cats could be the canary in the coal mine, letting us know what might happen if more people are exposed to these types of wildfires.”

They recommend that veterinarians screen for cardiovascular issues in cats who have been treated after wildfires.

You can read the full text of the study HERE.

Top image:  Rob Warren/UC Davis


Dog Lost in California Wildfire Found After 101 Days

The Ballejos family of Paradise, California reunited with their Akita Kingston 101 days after he went missing during last year’s devastating Camp Fire.

Kingston jumped out of their truck while they were evacuating, and the family never gave up hope that they would find their dog again.

Animal rescuers have been searching the fire area for months.  They have found dozens of dogs and cats lost during the fire.

Kingston seems to have survived by hunting and eating skunks, based on his pungent scent when they found him!

Click HERE for a heartwarming news video of the happy reunion!

Image:  Ben Lepe, Associated Press

Video: Pet Fire Safety Preparedness

October is one of the most dangerous months for wildfires here in California and other parts of the Western U.S.

This is because we get very little (if any) rain in the summer months, which makes the vegetation very dry.  This is combined with strong dry winds (called the Santa Anas) that blow in from the deserts to the east.

It’s important for pet owners in California—and everywhere—to be prepared for wildfires and other natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes.

Do you have your emergency plans in place to safely evacuate with your pets?  Here’s a video from PETA that outlines the essentials of a pet fire safety plan.  You can also find more info on the FEMA website HERE.


Dog hero saves family from fire

South Park, PA –  

This past weekend, Raven, an American Bulldog, proved to her family, in no uncertain terms, that dog is man’s best friend.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, the heroic dog successfully alerted her slumbering family to a blaze in their Piney Fork Road home in the early morning hours on Sunday.

While working smoke detectors are considered the gold standard for alerting homeowners to fires, time and again, we read about dogs who are credited with saving their family’s lives as their heightened senses alert them to danger long before it is otherwise apparent.

Raven is no exception.

Her family is grateful to her – calling the 7 yr-old dog “amazing”.

Good girl Raven!

Continue reading on Examiner.com Dog hero saves family from fire – National Dogs | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/dog-hero-saves-family-from-fire#ixzz1oNjMbtyV