Santa Barbara’s First Responders Are Learning First Aid for Pets

Firefighters Will Get Instruction on Pet CPR, Wound Care, Broken Limbs, and Overheating

Credit: Courtesy

Pet Emergency Training for First Responders ― or PET ― is a new countywide program that teaches Santa Barbara firefighters and other first responders how to care for animals in emergency situations. Organized by CARE4Paws and Advanced Veterinary Specialists (AVS), the workshops include instruction on pet CPR, wound care, broken limbs, and overheating. They also include advice on safely handling dogs that act aggressively or are protective of their owners to ensure those dogs don’t prevent their owners from receiving medical care.

First responders will hear about the services CARE4Paws offers to low-income, senior, disabled, and homeless pet owners, including assistance with veterinary care, free spays/neuters, low-cost vaccine clinics, pet food delivery, and behavior training. They’ll also get information on how to recognize signs of animal abuse and a new program by CARE4Paws that helps victims of domestic violence. Launching in January 2020 in collaboration with Domestic Violence Solutions, the program will provide temporary refuge for pets so that their owners can leave abusive partners without fearing for the well-being of their animals.

“While firefighters’ primary concern is always human-life safety, we place a very high priority on the lives of animals, too,” said Battalion Chief Chris Mailes with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department. “From horses in the path of wildland fires to animals in house fires, we strive to assist and render care whenever we’re able. Animals are a big part of all of our lives, and it’s very gratifying to help those that often can’t help themselves.”

For more information about PET, visit or contact CARE4Paws at or 968-2273.


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