BOSTON (WHDH) - The Animal Rescue League of Boston is urging the public to properly dispose of personal protective equipment after a dog had to go undergo life-saving surgery to remove paper masks that he had ingested.

ARL officials say the masks were successfully removed and the dog is now being cared for at their Animal Care and Adoption Center on Chandler Street.

PPE has become a way of life for everyone due to the highly-contagious nature of COVID-19 but masks, gloves, and other items can become life-threatening hazards to domestic animals and wildlife if they are not properly disposed of, the ARL warned.

“Masks can smell like food, and dogs or wildlife may think they’re a treat,” the ARL said in a news release. “These items can cause massive stomach upset or blockages, and the metal nose wire in masks may cause a variety of health issues, including sepsis, which may prove fatal if not treated.”

The ARL says used PPE should always be disposed of in a covered waste container.

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