My sister and her family live in a rural part of Western Washington State. They have two six-month-old black labs: Olive and Dozer have the perfect life of adventure, freedom and a family who adores them. The brother sister doggie duo, play endlessly together: wrestling, chasing each other and just being pups.

One evening my sister heard them cry in a very strange way. She looked out the window and saw them struggling together. Her first thought is that they had caught a small animal. She rushed out to free the critter. On the way, their cries changed to those of pain and total fear. She now thought a coyote or worse was attacking the pups. When she reached the dogs, in the dark, the scene made no sense. The dogs were in a screaming panic. Dozer was trying to get away from Olive but couldn't, and Olive was foaming at the mouth and on the verge of unconsciousness.

They had been wrestling and Dozer got a hold of Olive's collar in his mouth. His lower jaw had become stuck under her collar when she began twisting to get away from him. With every turn, Olives collar became as tight as a tourniquet with Dozer's jaw trapped in it. The dogs were frantic. Olive passed out from lack of oxygen. Dozer went down too because his jaw was trapped in Olives' collar.

My sister's husband arrived to help but could not get a knife under the twisted collar to cut Olive free. Finally they figured the only way was to grab the unconscious Olive and literally un-twist her. They figured she was dead by now. With some heavy lifting and spinning they were able to create enough slack in her collar to cut it off. Dozer was free and the unconscious Olive, thankfully came around in time.

Needless to say, everyone was traumatized. This is an example of the dangers of buckle collars. This would not have happen with the quick release collars now on the market. They have a "seat belt" like latch, which can easily release if the animal gets hung up. My sister's vet said they were very lucky as numerous pets AND CHILDREN are seriously injured by buckle collars with no safety release.

Please be aware of the dangers of using a buckle collar on your pet. Consider the use of a quick release collar for the safety of your companion. Don't let this happen to you.

Joni Conterno

Volunteer Boxer Rescue LA

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