pet first aid class

Learning Pet First Aid Generates Global Interest

In Animal Health, cat behavior, cat cpr, cat first aid, Dog Behavior, Dog CPR, pet care professional, pet cpr, Pet Death, Pet First Aid, Pet Safety, veterinarian, Wound care by Cara Armour

By Arden Moore

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

The month of April is recognized as Pet First Aid Awareness Month where I fittingly spent much of the month traveling to England and Greece to conduct pet first aid classes to pet professionals and pet parents. This was a sponsored trip from a nonprofit group called Let’s Be Smart based in Athens, Greece that aids animals in need all over the world. 

I am a master-certified pet first aid instructor who serves as the director of education for Pro Pet Hero’s instructor program and founder of Pet First Aid 4U. After teaching pet first aid classes in person in the United States and interactive classes via ZOOM to people living in Australia, Egypt, South Africa and other countries since 2011, this marked the first opportunity to teach in foreign countries.

What I discovered is that pet safety and first aid are topics of keen interest, no matter what language you speak. And, that the popularity of pets, especially cats, is on the rise.

 First Stop: The Bad Cat Café

Just outside Newcastle Upon Tyne in a small town called Wallsend, you will find the Bad Cat Café ( operated by a pair of young entrepreneurs named Tasmin Hurst and Roxy Scott. The café is housed in a corner building downtown next to the town hall. The pair purposely screens and then houses up to 10 cats at a time in the home-like setting that focuses on two priorities: getting cats adopted and serving terrific British tea.

Many of the cats have been rescued after living on the streets. After being given thorough veterinary exams and needed treatments, they get to mingle in the café where they gain much-needed social skills. 

“We aim to socialize our rescue cats away from a traditional shelter environment to increase their chances of being adopted into homes,” 

Since opening the café about a year ago, more than 80 café cats – called moggies in England – have been adopted.

My pet first aid classes drew Brits of all ages. Many were keenly interested in how to safely aid a cat or dog who is choking, but conscious. I explained how to perform the ‘kitty’ and ‘doggy’ Heimlich maneuvers that involve closing your fist and doing abdominal thrusts on the soft spot at the end of the rib cage — each time on the exhale. We address how to perform CPR, wrap a bloody wound, treat for being overheated and much more.

All participated in this class that earned them two-year certificates from our veterinarian-approved program.

Aiding Cats and Dogs in Greece

The second half of my trip found me at the Let’s Be Smart pet sanctuary (, just outside the city limits of Athens. This three-story building with fenced-in acres housed 47 cats, five dogs and four puppies during my stay. 

My job was to train the managers and volunteers who typically spent one week to a month caring for the animals all up for adoption. In addition, I conducted several pet first aid classes that drew people from animal shelters, pet rescue groups and veterinary clinics. 

Like the people in England, the Greeks I met shared the universal desire to keep cats and dogs safe. I was surprised at how many were fluent in English and understood my teachings.

I had to put my first aid training to use one afternoon with a cat at the sanctuary named Earl Grey who had been accidentally scalded with hot water. I needed to keep the staff calm and to tend to Earl Grey. The hot water burned the tip of his nose and his back paw pads and part of his belly. 

I quickly placed a cool, wet towel in his carrier and carefully placed him in self. The staff called the nearby pet emergency hospital to inform them we were on our way.

I knew from my training with emergency room veterinarians that Earl Grey was suffering from third degree burns. The burn was so intense that these areas were bright red. And Earl Grey was not showing any signs of pain or irritation. That is because at third degree, the pain receptors have been wiped out. Animals suffering from first- or second-degree burns display much more animation due to feeling the pain of the burns. 

My job was to monitor Earl Grey in the backseat  for any signs of shock or him collapsing into unconsciousness. I was prepared to perform CPR if he stopped breathing. At the hospital, the medical team immediately assessed and began treating Earl Grey, who had to spend a few nights there in order to recover. This stoic grey tabby is now back at the sanctuary and doing much better. 

Here is a short video clip of me at that pet ER hospital in Greece:

I have always regarded April as one of my favorite months because it is designated at Pet First Aid Awareness month. But after this teaching trip to England and Greece, this time will hold special meaning to me.

No matter where you live, one of the best ways to show how much you care for your pet is by taking a pet first aid class. 

Learn About Let’s Be SMART group

This nonprofit animal sanctuary ( is based in Greece but reaches globally. It depends on donations and volunteers to rescue cats and dogs off the streets and into welcoming homes.

Learn Pet First Aid

Learn more on ways to keep your cats and dogs safe by visiting Consider taking our veterinarian-approved online pet first aid/CPR course. Enter this code: CPR – ARDEN MOORE and receive a 10 percent discount! And, if you are interested in becoming a Pro Pet Hero instructor, please click on the BECOME AN INSTRUCTOR button on the home page for more details.