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Glendale Fire Introduces First Crisis Response Dog

Glendale Fire Department Crisis Response (CR) Program has recently entered its seventh year of service in the community and has made an important addition to the team. The team of crisis response volunteers welcomes Topaz, the first crisis response dog to work with a fire department.

The year and a half old yellow lab has been through extensive training and can actually sense when people are frightened or grieving. Topaz is used as a tool for communication. “He actually helps build a therapeutic bridge between the customer and the crisis interventionist,” said Lynette Jelinek, Glendale Fire Human Services Division Manager. “He helps lighten the mood, and bring in a calming effect to a situation that may seem out of control,” Jelinek continued.

Glendale Fire adopted the trained service dog from Paws with a Cause, an organization that trains various service animals for people with disabilities.

“The mission statement of the Glendale Fire Department is - Fast, Caring, Innovative, and Professional. The Crisis Response team and Topaz fall in line with our overall mission of serving the community,” said Mark Burdick, Glendale Fire Chief.

Topaz was dispatched to an Avondale scene this morning when a school bus, transporting 40 children, was involved in an auto accident. One child was transported to a valley hospital to be checked out. Many students were shaken by the event and were taken to school using a separate bus. When the students arrived to Wigwam Creek Middle School in Litchfield Park, they were greeted by the Glendale Fire Crisis Response Team and Topaz. “Somehow the focus was taken off of the incident itself and put on to this dog,” said Cathy Butt, School Assistant Principle. “We were all so thankful for Topaz and the Glendale Crisis Response Team,” Ms. Butt continued. Click here to learn more about the Crisis Response Team.

Glendale, AZ - Fire

Glendale, AZ - Fire

Glendale, AZ - Fire


Five Hot Tips for Summer Pet Care

Summertime is fun time, but hot weather makes for some unique summer pet care challenges. Although wild animals are well adapted to the elements, companion animals can be just as susceptible to extreme temperatures as their owners are. What does that mean for your pet? When the temperatures get extreme, pet safety should be top of mind. Here are five ways to stay safe while enjoying summer activities with your pet:

1. Respect the heat. Humans aren’t the only animals that can find a hot summer day overwhelming. But unlike you, your pet has a limited ability to deal with the heat. Dogs release heat through their paw pads and by panting, while humans can sweat through all of the skin on their body. Dehydration can be a big problem for pets during the hot weather, too. According to the ASPCA, animals with flat faces—like Pugs and Persian cats—cannot pant as effectively, and are therefore more susceptible to heat stroke. You should also keep an eye on elderly or overweight pets or animals with heart and lung disease. In the summer, make certain that Fido and Fluffy always have access to plenty of fresh, cool water, and avoid letting them run around outside during the hottest parts of the day.

2. Keep bugs away—safely. Another summer pet safety issue is the presence of ticks and other summer insects. Not only can bugs carry diseases, but the ways people try to ward them off can also cause problems for your outdoor pet’s health. Fertilizers and pesticides may help keep a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous for your pet. In the areas where your pets play, it’s better to keep the grass cut short to reduce the presence of ticks and other insects. Also keep an eye out for fertilizer warnings on the edge of lawns when walking your dog. Talk to your vet about the best ways to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other insects that are more prevalent during the summer months.

3. Beware of anti-freeze. In the summertime, anti-freeze can leak out of cars when they overheat, leaving puddles on the ground that your dog can easily lap up and swallow. The sweet taste of anti-freeze is tempting to dogs and cats, but when this toxic substance is ingested, it’s potentially lethal. Pay attention to your neighbors’ cars and potential puddles on your street, and make sure your pets stay clear of it.

4. Find out if your pet needs sunscreen. Some pets, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin, can also be susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about which types of sunscreen are safest on your pet’s skin, and follow up by routinely applying sunscreen as part of your summer routine. Do not use sunscreen or insect repellents that are not designed specifically for use on animals. The ASPCA says ingesting certain sunscreens can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy in pets.

5. Practice water safety. As with other aspects of summer pet care, water safety is all about thinking ahead. Although it's fun to bring your pet to the beach or pool to stay cool together, always keep a close eye on your pet when they’re in or near the water. Even a strong swimmer could have trouble getting out of a pool, or get trapped by ropes and other obstacles. For more risky summer adventures with your dog, like boating, look into a doggie life preserver. It could be an excellent investment for his safety.

Summer pet safety isn’t hard, it just requires some thought and attention. Watch over your pet the way you would a small child—protect them from too much heat, sun, and other summer dangers—and everything should be just fine.

Here are a few toxic substances to make sure Fido and Fluffy steer clear of in the summer months:

1.

Pool Chemicals

2.

Citronella

3.

DEET-containing insect repellants

4.

Charcoal lighter fluids

5.

Glow jewelry

6.

Animal toxins (insects, spiders, snakes)

  -Source, ASPCA

 

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