Animal lovers learn pet first aid

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont dog owners learned first aid for pets at Fetch The Leash on Saturday, hoping to get ahead of potential emergencies.

Owner Megan O'Hara loves hanging with her own furry friend, a 12-year-old pit bull mix named Atrus.

"As Vermonters, we love taking our dogs hiking and going to dog parks and going swimming with them," O'Hara said.

When she first adopted him, he got into a scrape while hiking.

"He lost one of his dew claws. It just came flying off. He hit a rock or something, you know, leaping and bounding around and it just came off. And it was just bleeding profusely everywhere," O'Hara said.

Atrus is fine now, but it's situations like that prompting animal lovers to learn first aid for pets. Dog owners, dog walkers and pet sitting business owners spent the afternoon learning what to do in a canine catastrophe.

Pet tech instructor Lora Hoopes took them through different lessons, everything from CPR to muzzling in an emergency.

"This does not replace veterinarian care. But what it's done is given us the tools to help our pets," Hoopes said.

The students practiced on stuffed pups, although Atrus lent a paw as a real-life demonstrator.

"You don't know until stuff happens, but it's always better to be prepared," O'Hara said.