Lauren Pape describes her home as a revolving door of foster and rescue dogs, and wanted to know what to do in case of an emergency involving one of her beloved pets.
“As a pet owner, you need to learn how to act quickly,” said Pape, a Huntington Station resident.
On Saturday morning, 20 Long Island residents decided to skip sleeping in to learn how to properly respond in case of a pet emergency. Robyn Elman, owner of In Home Pet Services, taught a pet first aid and CPR class at Bideawee Learning Center in Wantagh.
“Every person who lays their hand on a pet during the course of the day should learn pet safety,” said Elman, who lives in Bellerose and was certified in pet first aid through Pet Tech, a California-based organization that offers certification classes throughout the country, in 2007. “Plus, it’s fun and we get to play with stuffed dogs.”
Elman, a former zookeeper at the Bronx Zoo, opened In Home Pet Services in Queens in 2003. The franchise, which provides services such as dog walking and pet sitting, now has nine locations throughout Long Island and Queens.
The four-hour class began with a lecture that went over the basics of how to restrain and muzzle a pet, as well as how to travel safely in a car with a dog or cat. Elman then demonstrated how to perform CPR on dogs of different shapes and sizes.
“I need to know this because I’m probably going to have to perform CPR all the time on animals,” said Christine Pedranghelu, 21, of Bayville, a pre-veterinary student at LIU Post.
Although several people in the class were pet professionals, most of the students were simply taking the class to know what to do at home with their pets.
“Anything can happen and dogs get into everything,” said Maria Amadio, 44, of Kings Park, who owns three pit bulls. “This class is even better than I expected it to be and I think it’s a really great thing.”
The group learned how to deal with a wide range of situations, including "mouth-to-snout" resuscitation, or rescue breathing. Elman suggested that each person practice the skills they learn on stuffed dogs or cats once a week for the next month.
“Maybe I should just get a goldfish,” said Carleen Slattery, 81, Wantagh, laughing. “But seriously, it’s my responsibility to take care of my pets in any situation.”