The statistics on pets and fires are heartbreaking. Every year, approximately 1,000 pets accidentally start a fire in the home. Whether it’s knocking over a space heater or bumping a knob on a stove, these incidents happen more often than they should. Even more troubling, 40,000 pets succumb to injuries from a fire and more than 500,000 receive serious injuries every year. This is what prompted the American Kennel Club (AKC) and ADT Security Services to come together to create National Pet Fire Safety Day. It takes place annually on July 15, which falls on a Saturday this year.
Part of being a responsible pet owner is eliminating unnecessary risks, including the possibility of a house fire or your pet getting burned some other way. If you don’t have a smoke detector or only have one, be sure to install one on each floor of your home. Test the batteries often and change them before they have no power left at all.
Every second counts when it comes to fires. You don’t want to waste precious time searching for your pet’s belongings when trying to get out of the house. We recommend placing food, medication, fresh bottled water, bedding, and toys into a sturdy bag and keeping it near the front door. If you have a large pet or you think he might run the other way in the stress of an emergency, place a collar and leash at the front of the house as well. It’s also a good idea to get a microchip for your pet ahead of time in case you do become separated in the chaos of a fire.
Even if you’re not able to adopt a new pet right now, you can use the power of social media to help shelter pets find their forever home during Social PETworking Month. The organization Adopt-a-Pet currently shares a photo and brief biography of a dog, cat, or other domestic pet each day on its Facebook page. It encourages followers to like or share the post to help that pet find a home and to call attention to the many other pets who need homes as well.
If you locate a shelter pet online that you’re interested in adopting, the first step is to go to the shelter and ask to meet the pet. A worker will take him or her out of the cage and allow you to spend some time together. If you decide that this is the pet for you, you need to go to the front desk to pay the adoption fee and obtain the medical records. It’s especially important to have details about vaccines and the pet’s spay or neuter status. According to Adopt-a-Pet, adoption fees at shelters range from $25 to $125.