Losing a beloved family pet is always heartbreaking. Unfortunately for Christina Young and her partner, Christian, they also learned the hard way how devastating it is when the pet’s death could have been prevented. The couple’s dog, Petey, decided to help himself to a snack while the two were at work.
When Christian came home, he found Petey suffocated to death by a chip bag.
“Last Monday, Christian beat me home from work by about 10 min & was surprised when Petey didn’t greet him at the door like usual. As he walked in further he saw our sweet boy lying lifeless with a stupid chip bag over his head. He was able to get them off the counter that we will forever blame ourselves for leaving out.” – Christina Young, via Facebook
A Surprisingly Common Occurrence
This might seem like a fluke, one-in-a-million incident, but the truth is that people lose their dogs and cats this way on a shockingly regular basis. According to Preventative Vet, an average of two to three pet suffocation deaths are reported in the U.S. each week. In as few as three minutes, a dog or cat can get their head stuck in a bag and die from a lack of oxygen.
The Couple Feels Heartbroken and Guilty
“There is no way to describe the sadness, guilt, and emptiness we feel in our hearts and our home. Petey taught us how to love in an entirely different way than we had known before. He made Christian and I feel like a real family. He was always there for us after a long day, he made getting up early for work so much more enjoyable, and he made me laugh EVERY single day.” – Christina Young
This can happen to pets of all sizes.
It doesn’t matter if your pet is tiny or large; their risk is the same. Any bag can present an issue, but problems usually occur with snack bags, pet food bags, cereal bags and resealable bags. Plastic containers and Pringles tubes can also lead to suffocation.
The Prevent Pet Suffocation Organization
TODAY reported that a dog suffocation incident from 2011 led to the formation of the Prevent Pet Suffocation organization. Bonnie Harlan’s family lost their four-legged companion, Blue, in another chip bag disaster. Since then, Harlan has dedicated her life to helping others avoid the heartbreak her family still feels.
“Unfortunately, that’s Blue’s gift to the world.” – Bonnie Harlan, via TODAY
Learn How to Save Your Pet’s Life
You only have a couple of minutes to prevent death if your pet’s head gets stuck in a bag. The first step is to remove the bag. Next, check for a pulse or watch their chest to see if they’re breathing normally. If they appear to be breathing at a slower than usual pace, or not at all, you’ll need to perform CPR. After which, it’s imperative to get them to an emergency vet immediately.
A Petition to Save Pets
The devastation felt by Bonnie Harlan, Christina Young and a long list of other pet owners doesn’t have to continue. Harlan has launched a petition asking Frito Lay to disclose the danger by placing a pet suffocation warning on all of their snack bags. Between these efforts and placing an emphasis on increased awareness and learning pet CPR, these senseless deaths can be prevented.
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Source: Christina Young via Facebook