How 170 adorable service dogs brush up on their emergency and disaster skills

The raging wildfires currently burning across the Californian landscapes are pretty scary. Would you know what to do in such an emergency, let alone your dog? These 170 service dogs took a refresher course.

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What to do in the event of an emergency

When faced with an emergency, just like the Californian fires or other terrible disasters, everyone should be prepared. Certainly, this is important not only for humans but also for our pets too! We all know to call for the emergency services but how best to evacuate a building in an emergency.

A practice kennel evacuation for 170 service dogs

First of all, imagine a roaring fire takes hold in a kennel that houses lots of canines. The staff need to clear all of the dogs out as soon as possible. But even more important is evacuating the dogs as speedily as they can. The Yorktown Heights training school decided to carry out a refresher exercise. Their challenge was to remove all 174 dogs and all humans from the building before the fire trucks arrived on the scene.

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Yesterday, the Training School staff at our Yorktown Heights, NY campus practiced a kennel evacuation drill. In the event of a fire, our staff needs to be able to clear the kennel of any dogs before firetrucks arrive (their response time as a volunteer firefighting department is usually about 4 minutes or so). During this drill, we don't follow our standard kennel procedures – dogs are released into the community run as fast as possible and without their identification collars. The staff gamely took on the challenge, and we completed the drill of clearing all 174 dogs and all staff members from the building in 3 minutes and 8 seconds! ⠀ 🚨🐾🚨⠀ Video Description: This video is taken from outside the East Kennel community run door. Guiding Eyes kennel staff members rush into the kennel from the community run. One staff member holds open the door and the dogs (mainly Labrador retrievers with a few German shepherds) begin to race into the community run from the kennel door. A few dogs try to go back to the kennel door (to greet their friends who are racing to join them), but the staff member encourages them to stay in the community run. After all the dogs have been emptied, the video turns to show the "organized chaos" of the 174 dogs in the 3 back community runs. The dogs race around while playing in the run, with many crowding around the trainers who hold a large number of collars. The trainers begin to identify dogs and separate the dogs into their normal groups for community run.⠀ 📷: @zoeandthepeach⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #SafetyFirst #EvacuationDrill #GuideDogs #WorkingDogs #YorktownHeights #YorktownHeightsNY #IGWoofs #DailyBarker #PupDoggyDog #GuidingEyes #GuidingEyesForTheBlind #SDiT #ServiceDogInTraining #GuideDogInTraining #InstaPup #BestDogs #ExcitedDog #WooferGram #DailyDoseOfDogs #Doggyholics #DogsOfInstagram #WoofToday #Woof_Tastic #InstagramDogs #PawPack #DogGram #DogsOfNewYork #DogsOfNY

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Guiding Eyes for the Blind © Instagram

This New York, non-profit organisation, Guiding Eyes for the Blind works with and trains dogs specifically for people with eyesight problems.  The fire drill involved all of the service dogs being released from the building as quickly as possible, many of them without ID collars.  One member of the staff kept the door open while the dogs, the majority Labradors and German Shepherds, ran through the doorway out into the yard area. Consequently, as you would expect, the excited dogs race around in chaos. As a result of their organisation skills, the trainers soon had the dogs under control with their identification collars back on each dog.

They accomplished this feat within just 3 minutes and 8 seconds – a fantastic team effort. Certainly, the service dogs all had a marvellous, fun time during this drill exercise.

Read More: Rescue dog was saved from Hurricane Florence flooding in live stream


I live in County Durham, in the North East of England, and have been a freelance writer for several years. My hobbies include travelling, gardening and spending time with my grandchildren. I believe that animal lovers are a special group of humans, full of empathy, big-hearted, rather prone to sentimentality and generous of spirit. No matter how few possessions or how little money you have, owning a pet makes you a rich person!