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American Red Cross issues new app for pet first-aid

App helps dog and cat owners provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available

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[January 18, 2014]  PEORIA ó Pets are an important part of many families, and a new Red Cross Pet First Aid app puts lifesaving information right in the hands of dog and cat owners so they can provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available.

The 99-cent Pet First Aid app gives iPhone and Android smartphone users instant access to expert information so they learn how to maintain their petís health and what to do during emergencies.

"Pet owners learn how to recognize health problems and when to contact their veterinarian," said Traci Johnston, preparedness health and safety specialist. "The Pet First Aid app provides step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first-aid and emergency situations, including how to treat wounds, control bleeding, and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies."

Additional topics are burns, car accidents, falls, and what to do for cold- and heat-related emergencies.

Other features in the app allow pet owners to:

  • Create a pet profile including tag identification number, photos, list of medications and instructions.

  • Use the list of early warning signs to learn when to call a veterinarian.

  • Use "click-to-call" to contact a veterinarian.

  • Find emergency pet care facilities or alternate veterinarians with the "animal hospital locator."

  • Locate pet-friendly hotels.

  • Test personal knowledge with interactive quizzes, and earn badges that can be shared on social networks, along with favorite pictures of pets.

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History shows that at times people have not evacuated during disasters because they did not want to leave their pets behind. The Red Cross app contains resources to help owners include pets in their emergency action plans. Pet owners may also take a Red Cross Pet First Aid course so they can practice the skills and receive feedback. For information and to register, go to redcross.org/takeaclass.

The Red Cross has made great strides in making emergency information available whenever and wherever people need it. The Pet First Aid app and other Red Cross apps are available from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

[Text from file received from the American Red Cross, Central Illinois Chapter]

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