If you’ve ever experienced a pet emergency you know how stressful and scary it can be when your pet is hurt or in pain. Yalanda Medina was so affected by her own pet emergency that she decided to start Squad Fifty One, a pet emergency response unit. Acting as “pet paramedics” Squad Fifty One provides pet transport to veterinary facilities, caring for and stabilizing pets to ensure the best possible outcome. The business is in the early stages of getting off the ground, having just completed an Indiegogo campaign to gather funds.
To find out more about what Squad Fifty One does, as well as their first annual event, Woof in the City, read on for my Q&A with Yalanda.
Tell us about Squad Fifty One.
Approximately 3 years ago, my husband and I where driving home from Maryland when we got a call from our dog sitter who told us she thought something was wrong with my then 3 year old Yorkie, Bruiser. We were still 4 hours away and I was sick with worry. When we got home, the dog was clearly very ill, I jumped back in the car and raced, literally, doing 85mph to get him to the ER vet. While I was driving I remember thinking two things: 1. If the police give chase, I was not going to stop until I got to the vet, and 2. that there has to be a better way to deal with medical emergencies for animals than this. I risked both our lives and the lives of others racing through the streets. I couldn’t believe there was not a system set up to deal with these types of situations like there is for humans.
That experience stayed with me. Even though Bruiser made a full recovery, I was permanently traumatized. I was constantly concerned not only for my own pet, but for all other pets. So finally my husband suggested I stop just worrying about it and try to institute a solution.
What types of emergencies do you assist with?
We can assist with all sorts of emergency situations: trauma/injuries due to accidents, sudden onset illnesses such as seizures, allergic reactions, poisonings, burns, etc.
What services will you provide in the event of an emergency?
Our job is to assess, triage, stabilize, and transport patients as quickly and efficiently as possible to the nearest veterinary facility or pet ER hospital. We provide wound and injury care, CPR, oxygen therapy, fluid therapy, vital systems monitoring, and bracing or stabilization of broken.
Our goal is do everything possible to give the patient the greatest chance for the best possible outcome. Also, and of equal importance, we want to give peace of mind to panicked pet parents. Seeing your pet sick or injured is undoubtedly quite stressful so we also want to help pet parents get through this difficult experience as well. It’s comforting to know that there is someone you can call for help when you need it.
We also provide non-emergency related services as well: critical care transport, non-emergency (basic) transport, home follow up care, and deceased pet removal.
Are you still running your Indiegogo campaign to raise funds? How has that gone?
Our Indiegogo campaign has ended. It went well but we fell short of our fundraising goal. We are planning to rerun the campaign this February. But for anyone who is interested in investing in our vision can do so by visiting our website: http://squadfiftyone.com/donate/
Give us some details on Woof in the City.
Woof in the City will be held Sat., April 5th (not the previous date of Feb.15th) at the Shaker LaunchHouse in Shaker Hts., Ohio. It is a canine celebration! I love going with Bruiser to various dog events around the city and thought this was a great way to usher in Spring after having been cooped up during the winter months.
This event serves as both a fundraiser and a friend-raiser. Because we will be a brand new service in the area, we thought this was an excellent way for people to get to know us and to introduce our services to pet parents.
We will put on a Best in Show Mock Competition where parents can enter their pooches and compete for prizes in different categories. We are also considering a pet fashion show. We will also have a pet photographer on site for portraits.