Shropshire Star

Woman saves beloved childhood pet with vital CPR skills

A Shropshire woman has told of how she saved her dog's life with vital CPR she had recently learned.

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Sammy with George now

Sammy Feehan, 23, from Albrighton, is a professional dog walker, and takes pride in keeping her knowledge and skills up to date.

In 2019, just before the pandemic, Sammy took the iPET Network Canine First Aid course with Rachel Bean, as a way to stay safe while she was working with pets.

The course has stood her in good stead in her Doxie Canine Services business, but never more so than just this week, when in a dramatic life-saving scenario she performed CPR on her own beloved 16-year-old dog George.

Sammy said: "I have had George since I was seven years old, and he is 16 now, with a few health issues. He is a Yorkie Dachshund cross and a really important member of our family.

"Last week George started to have seizures, one in the night which was witnessed by my parents, and then a more severe one the next day which left him really agitated and restless.

"I tried to calm him down and give him a cuddle, but all of a sudden he just collapsed on my lap.

"He looked dead, and it was so traumatic, but having the first aid knowledge allowed my training to kick in, and to do the right thing and give George the chance he deserved."

Sammy immediately put her iPET first aid knowledge into action to try to help George.

Sammy with George as a puppy

"His breathing was really shallow but he was still there, and I started doing the CPR that Rachel taught us in training," she added.

"I could feel his breath but it wasn't like a proper breath, it was really scary but I carried on with the CPR for five minutes. The vet was on the phone and said to bring him in but I was so worried that he wouldn't make it that far as the vet isn't that close to our house.

"But because of the training I was able to care for him all the way to the vets, remembering what Rachel told us, and after some medication and oxygen at the surgery he has rallied round."

The 23 year-old said she was grateful she knew what to do and said her instincts had kicked in.

She said: "I think it is so important that pet professionals get this training, and when you are choosing a pet professional you should question them like they are on trial.

"I did the course because I want to show my clients that they can trust me with their family member, and all dog walkers, groomers and anyone else who works with your pet while you are not there should do the same."

Sammy's story comes as industry experts are calling for mandatory first aid qualifications for all UK pet professionals.

Currently the likes of dog walkers, dog groomers and pet sitters do not have to carry an animal first aid certificate, leaving them and the pets they care for vulnerable.

The Safe Pets and People campaign's aim is to highlight this fact and they are endorsed by the RSPCA, The Groomers Spotlight and Street Paws.