- Global Canine Health Information





It is an increasingly dangerous world we live in. Scary movies are box office hits and newspapers shriek headlines meant to set off alarms and draw the reader in. People quite naturally become saturated with this sort of nonsense but in this case, being aware of risks can save your dog or your child's life. Some things are just too deadly to use or have near kids and pets.



Shredder Danger and Your Pets

submitted by Mary Ann


"I was researching paper shredders today because of all the information regarding identity theft. In my research I found out that there is a real danger to pets."


Among household pets, dogs are particularly at risk from shredders, as they have a tendency to lick things, and many breeds have long, floppy ears that can get caught in shredder openers.


The Spokesman Review published an account of an incident in which a puppy suffered injuries from a paper shredder so severe that she was euthanized afterwards (and her owner lost a portion of one finger trying to rescue her):


Adam Forney doesn't even own a paper shredder.  And he probably never will.


The 22-year-old was sitting on his couch in his south Spokane home watching television when his 7-month-old puppy licked the top of his roommate's shredder and the dog's tongue was sucked into the shredding mechanism.


"I ran into the room ... she was pulling so hard and the thing was dragging ... then she just ripped away," Forney said. "I will never forget the sound it made when she pulled away."


In the chaos of trying to help his injured dog, Forney's pinky finger was bitten off at the first joint, and another finger was fractured by the bite.


"I grabbed her head to try and get her to calm down, and she bit me," Forney said. "She ran out of the room and I just lost it. It looked like a murder scene in my house ... there was so much blood."


Forney went to the emergency room, and his mixed-breed dog, Alice Lane, went to a local pet emergency clinic, where she was euthanized.



Inside Edition offered a similar tale of a young dog's catching his tongue in a shredder:


A number of pets have also been injured by shredders.


For one dog owner, it was a horrifying experience. Sandra Clarke of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina told us when she was at home working on March 1st, her curious puppy, Cross, caught his tongue in a shredder.


According to Sandra, it was not a pretty sight. "It looked like hamburger meat. It was shredded up about an inch. There was blood everywhere."


A large part of the problem is that since shredders were originally designed as business equipment for offices (where they would presumably be used only by adults), many models did not have the kinds of safeguards built into them to provide adequate protection in household environments, where children and animals abound.


Although consumer safety groups are working to get manufacturers and lawmakers to adopt more stringent safety standards for shredders (such as making paper slots thinner and placing blades farther away from openings), the adoption of new standards takes time, and plenty of the machines already have been purchased for home use.


So please, keep shredders away from your pets and children.  Or unplug when not in use to help prevent injuries.

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