Thursday, March 24, 2011

Many-legged travelers


Scott McCartney, WSJ, Mar 24, 2011, says 2,000 pets travel through Logan International, so the Fire Rescue Dept has outfitted two ambulances for pet emergencies.

Passengers with Paws, they call it.

Paramedics, firefighters, state police, and baggage handlers get special training in animals.

Animals are sensitive to temperature changes, dehydration, and panic.

Last year, 39 animals died in airline custody, up 70% from the year before.

The airport gives classes in muzzling, leashing, getting a pet out of a crate, and other niceties.

The workers are told not to be friends with the pet, but to talk to it. Being “too nice” can result in letting the animal out “just for a walk” and then, bam, it runs off..

They even learn to give CPR to dogs—chest compressions and blowing in the nose.

If dogs are drooling, have broken their nails trying to claw out, or are otherwise in distress, workers are taught to pick up on this.

I remember bringing a cat across country—she reached out the airhole of the carrier and scraped up my leg—blood everywhere. I was the one who could have used medical attention.

This is all good, though—animals are just part of the scene in this country and deserve to be treated decently.

Some of this sounds better than two-legged cargo is treated these days. Do the pets have to pay for water--maybe with their alligator wallets?

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