Living in a remote area as we do, we must be more self-sufficient. Most of us know how to help an injured friend or family member until they can get to a medical professional. But, what about your dog or cat? If your beloved pet is injured or experiences a medical emergency, you need to know how to help them. If the situation happens on a weekend or holiday, there might be a long period of time before your vet can meet with you. Veterinarians agree that pet parents should know first aid. The knowledge and skills can make their jobs easier and lead to better outcomes for animals.

Pets sometimes eat toxic food or chemicals, injure themselves, choke on something, or are hit by a car. It is vital that they receive prompt and appropriate first aid in any of those situations. Surprisingly few pet parents know what to do. First aid skills are also important for those working as dog walkers, pet sitters, groomers, and first responders.

First aid is not a substitute for veterinary care. However, in an emergency, it’s unlikely that a vet is available to help quickly enough. Those minutes between the occurrence of the medical emergency and when you get to a veterinarian can be the difference between life and death. Every minute counts!

When an emergency happens, it is vital to have the proper knowledge, skills, and supplies to start prompt and appropriate treatment. Often it can prevent a minor injury from becoming a major one. It can reduce pain, improve outcomes, and give you peace of mind. Having first aid knowledge can help replace panic with functional skills. Our pets trust us and rely on us for proper care. Learning first aid for dogs and cats is just another way that we can love our pets and help extend the length and quality of their lives.

To help educate our communities and improve the lives of pets and people, we are offering a pet first aid class in Telluride on December 12 from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Wilkinson Public Library. We’re partnering with Pet Tech certified trainer, Encompass Canines to provide this community class. It is free, but donations to Second Chance are encouraged. In the class, we will cover all the key aspects of pet first aid, including how to care for an unconscious pet, how to stabilize a wound, how to help a choking pet, what to do if your pet is poisoned, and more.  Space is limited. Humans only (mannequins will be provided). Register at:

Mars is the definition of a house panther with his sleek black coat and graceful demeanor. He’s a young boy, who is at the shelter with his brother Saturn. Venus, Pluto, and Jupiter have already been adopted.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 pm. View our shelter pets and services online: Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives