Do You Have An Emergency Pet Plan?
Judith Hodgins’ 13-year-old poodle, Dustin, has been with the her since he was a baby. He’s not just a dog — he’s family. And if Judith hadn’t had an emergency pet plan in place, it could have spelled disaster for her fur-baby!
Dustin was home alone when smoke inside the house set off the fire alarm. The alarm triggered the security company, who had information on file alerting them that the home included a pet.
The security cameras revealed that Dustin was alone inside the house. So, when the security company called 911, they also passed the information on Dustin along.
This is the type of information the company specifically requests when setting up a security system: How many pets? What kind? Where do they normally stay when no one’s home?
That way, when an alarm sounds, a screen appears with the info, and it’s passed along to emergency responders.
“When we go in, do a search on a house when we haven’t confirmed if anybody’s inside or not,” says Captain Taylor Goodman of the Henrico Fire Department. “We’re not just searching for human beings. We’re also searching for pets.”
Knowing where to look first is vital. And it can help more than just the pets and homeowners.
“The more information we have the easier it is to do our jobs safely,” says Captain Jackie Gilmore with the Charlotte Fire Department.
For Judith, her emergency pet plan made sure the terrifying day had a happy ending.
“There were tears of joy and I hugged every fireman when they had my dog and he was okay,” she said.
Here are some tips for setting up a fire emergency pet plan:
- If you have a security system, make sure you provide information about your pets. Be sure to keep that information up-to-date
- Security systems can be considered luxuries. If you don’t have one, share your pet information (along with their usual whereabouts when no one’s home) with your neighbors
- If you aren’t close with or don’t have any neighbors, consider getting stickers to place on your door or nearby windows to provide firefighters with the information they need
Hopefully you’ll never have to put your emergency pet plan to use. But, should a fire break out, you’ll be prepared and your pet will be safe!
Be sure to share this story with all of the animal lovers you know to make sure they have set up their own emergency pet plan!
See how this furry hero helped his tiny human from 5 miles away!
h/t: NBC 12