LAMPASAS – Pet owners and animal lovers can learn how to perform CPR and basic first aid on dogs and cats at an American Red Cross course Saturday at the Lampasas Community Higher Education Center.
Topics covered by the five-hour course include preventing further injury of animals and humans during an emergency, performing CPR on a dog or cat, how to check for pulse rates, temperature, disease prevention, poison control and eliminating choking hazards in the home.
Written materials and dog and cat mannequins nicknamed Kasper and Miss Kitty will be used by participants and instructor Kenya Andrews, who has led Red Cross classes for 37 years.
“I offer a wide variety of emergency response classes,” she said. “I like to teach the whole family, from the unborn to the four-legged family members. I’m a country girl, and my father always taught me to be kind to pets as well as family—they may save your life someday.
Andrews said choking hazards likely pose the greatest danger to animals in the home.
“People food is really not appropriate for animals, due to their digestive system, and many pet owners don’t dispose of their garbage securely,” she said. “Pets are curious, and unsecured waste gives them access to refuse that is a potential choking hazard.”
Dr. Kelli Isom, a partner with Isom Veterinary Clinic and Hospital group, said the course is beneficial for all pet owners. Knowing basic, essential skills can make a difference in determining whether an animal lives or dies.
“A lot of times, we’ll get emergency calls at night, and giving instructions to someone over the phone who hasn’t had this training is very difficult,” she said. “This class can help someone determine if they need to seek immediate veterinary help, and I think it’s a great idea to protect pet owners as well as animals in an emergency situation.”
The course is $75 for LCHEC members and $85 for nonmembers. To register, call LCHEC at (512) 556-8226.