Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 1:12 pm | Fair 77º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria Valley Students Learn About Pet Emergency Preparation

DogE911 visits Arellanes Junior High School to share tips for keeping dogs, cats and other critters healthy and safe

DogE911 volunteer Crystal Cabanas shows where a lymph gland is on dachshund Chloe during a demonstration for Arellanes Junior High School students about how to assess their pets. Click to view larger
DogE911 volunteer Crystal Cabanas shows where a lymph gland is on dachshund Chloe during a demonstration for Arellanes Junior High School students about how to assess their pets. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Before starting their summer break, some Arellanes Junior High School students received lessons in dealing with pet emergencies and keeping their dogs, cats and other critters healthy.

Animal paramedic Genete Bowen and volunteers from DogE911 provided the lessons in a special presentation arranged by eighth-grade math teacher Sonya Morris on Wednesday, the second to last day of the year for Santa Maria-Bonita School District students.

Family pets require the same care that people need such as regular check-ups and good dental hygiene, Bowen told the students.

“Just imagine if you didn’t brush your teeth — for a month, a year, whatever — how gross they’d be. Nobody would want to be near you. It’s the same thing for them,” she said. “People say, ‘Oh, their breath stinks.’ Well, that’s because nobody’s taking care of their teeth.”

Not brushing a dog or cat’s teeth can lead to health problems later in life, she added.

“The gum line is actually the window to the organs,” she added.

Several foods, including grapes, chocolate and onions, actually are poisonous to dogs, she added.

“Some foods are considered a poison because they’ll harm the animal right away,” she said.

DogE911 founder Genete Bowen talks about pet health and emergencies while volunteer Lesly Diaz demonstrates the oxygen mask on Chloe the dachshund. Click to view larger
DogE911 founder Genete Bowen talks about pet health and emergencies while volunteer Lesly Diaz demonstrates the oxygen mask on Chloe the dachshund. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“Some are considered harmful because they work over time so it may not kill the animal today but over time it shortens the life of the animal and it causes problems in their organs and makes them sick.”

Bones also can harm dogs so Bowen suggested going to a butcher to get raw bones that should be kept in the freezer.

“The raw bones, because they haven’t been cooked, they won’t splinter,” she said. 

Cooked bones can splinter, cutting a canine’s esophagus or slicing the intestines leading to serious health problems, Bowen added. 

She also shared about the importance of having dogs properly restrained while traveling in vehicles. 

“Why? Because just like a child, if they get hit, that child is going to go through the windshield or bounce around inside the vehicle. Same thing happens to these guys and they can die,” she said.

With a motto of “Be your own first responder,” DogE911, founded by Bowen, promotes preventative care, first aid for pet emergencies and preparedness for disasters.

Holding a stuffed animal, DogE911 founder Genete Bowen demonstrates an oxygen mask designed for animals during a presentation at Arellanes Junior High School. Click to view larger
Holding a stuffed animal, DogE911 founder Genete Bowen demonstrates an oxygen mask designed for animals during a presentation at Arellanes Junior High School. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Bowen brought cat and dog stuffed animals along with her pet dachshund named Chloe for the presentation.

The organization has a program for youths to earn community service hours by helping teach classes, and also works to distribute special masks in case a rescued animal needs oxygen. 

Some 15,000 masks have been distributed across the United States and Canada to help save animals’ lives, Bowen said.

Morris, the Arellanes Junior High School teacher, said she has arranged for the presentation to her students for the past few years to advocate for the animals.

“Every time they come I learn something new,” Morris said of the presentation. “It’s amazing because there’s so much to know.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

DogE911 volunteer Crystal Cabanas holds Chloe for Arellanes Junior High School students to feel where the spinal cord starts and other unique features in canines during a presentation Wednesday. Click to view larger
DogE911 volunteer Crystal Cabanas holds Chloe for Arellanes Junior High School students to feel where the spinal cord starts and other unique features in canines during a presentation Wednesday.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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