Firefighters Reminding Owners to Secure Pets During Emergencies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Firefighters Reminding Owners to Secure Pets During Emergencies

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Kennewick firefighters want to remind pet owners to keep pets secured during emergency situations. First responders typically arrive to an emergency and rush in to help but animals can get in the way.

That is exactly what happened to a firefighter last week when he was bitten by a small dog.

Kennewick's Deputy Fire Chief says it is not just the fear of being bitten, it also interferes with responders thinking clearly.

"An animal barking and running back and forth in the house distracts you from doing something that's a critical skill," said Dep. Chief Marvin Leonard.

Firefighters say even friendly pets can become confused and frightened when their owners are in trouble or when strangers enter their space.

Leonard suggests securing pets in a separate room or outside.

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