For pet owners, it’s hard to find something more important than the safety of their animals.

Seconds count in an emergency and alerting the authorities that pets are inside could help save their lives.

Something as simple as a sticker on your door could make a big difference when it comes to rescuing your pets during a fire.

Shannara Nafe is a dog walker, and has several pets of her own. The safety of those animals is a constant job.

“My biggest fear is if I’m not home and something happens,” says Nafe. “So to be like, I can have these animals out, and know that all of them got out makes me feel a lot safer.”

Wednesday morning, Ottawa firefighters were handing out new pet decals at the Bruce Pit dog park. You can stick a decal on the front of your home to alert firefighters of any number of pets inside.

Bruce Pit dog

“I love it,” says dog owner Anda Pember. “Let’s face it; if there’s a fire, these guys, they’re our family. And we want to know that they’re safe.”

Christina O’Neill adds, “I think they’re excellent because I have a dog and if something happened, it’s like family.”

Stickers like this have been launched in the past but were hard to remove from a window or door and therefore not taken down when the information changed.

These new decals are made of vinyl, making them easy to stick or remove.

“There’s a cat, a dog silhouette, and then other pets. You just put the number in the circle of how many you have,” says Ottawa Fire Public Information Officer Nicholas DeFazio. “It’s a great tool for when they show up for an emergency. If the home owner is not home, or heaven forbid, unconscious, they’ll know when they go in what they’re looking for.”


The decals were made in partnership with the Ottawa Humane Society, which says they’ve proven to be quite popular. In the short time that the decals have been available, they’ve already received 9,000 requests.

“The Ottawa Fire Service is very dedicated to obviously saving people, but also pets,” says Bruce Roney, Ottawa Humane Society President and CEO. “And they said this tool to allow them to know what pets may be in the house when they’re responding to an emergency was incredibly helpful.”

Many of the dog owners at Bruce Pit say they would do almost anything to save their pets, and this decal is the first step in saving lives.

“This is extremely important,” says dog owner Norma Dunn. “It doesn’t take a long time for anything, animal or human, to succumb to an emergency. So this is wonderful.”

The new pet decals can be ordered from the Ottawa Humane Society website at no cost.