Sunday, July 29, 2001

Animal first aid mission for teacher

By Mike Pulfer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Much has happened since a March story on first aid for pets appeared in Tempo.

        Awareness and interest in animal welfare has grown significantly, says Allen Herrmann, who teaches classes on helping dogs and cats for the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross. More than 30 new students signed up for the first available clinic.

        And then a 27-year-old California man was convicted of animal cruelty in June, when after a traffic accident, he threw a dog in front of a moving a car.

Allen Herrmann and his dog, C.B.
        The dog, a male bichon frise, the same breed as Mr. Herrmann's own pet and training aid, C.B., died.

        “For some people, when they're so full of rage, their reasoning is completely exhausted,” Mr. Herrmann says. “They don't think.”

        The dog belonged to a woman involved in the accident. Andrew Burnett, according to prosecutors, simply reached into her car, grabbed the dog and threw it into moving traffic.

        But there is good news.

        Eleven-year-old C.B., who lives with Mr. Herrmann and five other dogs in Mount Washington, is doing fine.

        And concern for animals, Mr. Herrmann says, “is becoming more universal all over the country.”

        Locally, he is expanding his education program to include 45-minute lectures at elementary schools. “Kids can be cruel to animals,” he says, and early education can help them be more sensitive.

        “If I see an injured animal, it upsets me more than if it were a human,” he said.

        Meanwhile, at Red Cross national headquarters, officials are preparing to launch a new campaign promoting proper animal care.

        Through the Red Cross, Mr. Herrmann is helping develop a plan to assemble volunteers for a “disaster team” that would rescue animals lost and traumatized after floods, tornadoes and other widespread disasters.

        As for the first-aid classes, “Most of it is basic first aid,” said Mr. Herrmann, a former insurance industry consultant. “The course deals with choking, bleeding . . . seizures, diabetes, dehydration . . . frostbite, poisoning . . . massage therapy.” And, maybe the most important objective, he says, is “to learn to appreciate the animals and the fact they do have a mind, body and spirit.”

        For more information on first-aid classes and the disaster-team project, call Mr. Herrmann at the Red Cross, at 792-4000.


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