March 31, 2003, VANCOUVER - April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people with pets to ensure that their animal companions are provided for in case an emergency situation arises.


"There never seems to be enough hours in the day, and it is simply human nature to put things off. Often we act when it’s too late, after something bad has happened to our beloved pet," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director.

"As April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, this is a good time to take a number of simple steps to ensure your pets’ safety. This includes keeping a pet first aid kit nearby and making plans to ensure that your animal companions are provided for in case an emergency situation arises where you are not in a position to personally care for them," advises Hickey.

The Humane Society of Canada has produced several items associated with pet safety and first aid that can literally save the lives of animal companions. A first aid kit for pets, Animal Emergency Alert stickers, a Disaster Relief Checklist as well as a Special Wallet Card are items that can save pets in emergency situations.

"We created the Animal Emergency Alert stickers so that people with pets could put these stickers on the exterior doors of their homes," says Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Executive Director, whose family includes small children and a houseful of pets. "The alerts inform emergency rescue personnel that there are animals inside the home who need help in the event that their human guardians are ill or injured."

According to O’Sullivan, the Disaster Relief Checklist "was created to help people with pets plan ahead for their animal companions’ needs in case a disaster strikes. We also recommend that people with pets carry an HSC Special Wallet Card that has instructions about who to contact to care for the animals in the event that their human guardian can’t personally look after them."

Another easy way to prepare for the safety of pets is to ensure that an animal first aid kit is always nearby and that people are familiar with its contents and have read the first aid manual. The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) has produced a quality portable first aid kit. This compact, well stocked kit can easily be taken to the cottage, on camping trips and similar outings making it an invaluable, potentially life-saving item for your animal companions. The following items are contained in the animal first aid kit:

magnifying glass
rescue sheet
latex gloves (1 pair)
hydrogen peroxide (bottle)
antibacterial topical ointment (tube)
instant cold pack
adhesive tape (roll)
sterile gauze pads (3)
sterile gauze (roll)
insect sting stop pads (8)
antiseptic towlettes (6)
antimicrobial handwipes (3)
elastic cling bandage
Q-Tip® cotton swabs (12)
antiseptic solution (bottle)
eyewash solution (bottle)
safety pins (medium size) (4)
tongue depressors (2)
penlight with batteries (2AA)
first aid booklet
money to make a phone call

According to O’Sullivan, the kit was developed to assist companion animals and their human guardians in times of emergency. "When your animal is hurt, time is critical. That's why we've developed a special HSC Animal First Aid Kit to try and help relieve their suffering," says Hickey.

Included with the kit is an informative 28-page first aid manual. Veterinarians and animal care workers have reviewed the kit and first aid manual. The contents of the kit have been field-tested in disaster and war zones around the world.

"This kit was created to assist people with their pets in times of emergency before their veterinarian can be seen. However, as an added bonus, all of the revenue generated from these kits goes to our programs aimed at protecting animals," says O’Sullivan. "So when you buy an HSC first aid kit, you’re not only looking out for your animal companions, but pets and wild animals who need help as well."

The cost of the animal first aid kit is $29.99 (includes all taxes, postage and handling.) For more information or to order the animal first aid kit, Animal Emergency Alert stickers, Disaster Relief Checklist or Special Wallet Card call (toll free) 1-800-641-KIND (5463) or go to the Humane Society of Canada’s website at (the animal first aid kit is in the HSC Online Adventure Store).

Note: Camera ready artwork of the animal first aid kit is available on request.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.