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Put a Pet Oxygen Mask on Every Fire Truck

By Sharon Seltzer on Care2.com

Did you know that an estimated half million pets are involved in house fires every year and that more than 40,000 of them die because of smoke inhalation?

A homeowner in Ogden, UT was grateful when firefighters arrived on the scene at his smoke-filled house earlier this week. They pulled him and his old cocker spaniel to safety. But a few minutes after the rescue, the dog began having trouble breathing and died from smoke inhalation.

Did you know that an estimated half million pets are involved in house fires every year and that more than 40,000 of them die because of smoke inhalation?

But like so many statistics in the world of animal welfare, there is a simple fix for these sad facts; add a pet oxygen mask to every fire truck and ambulance in the country.

With the right equipment, firefighters and emergency medical responders say they could save the lives of many pets.

October is National Fire Safety Month and Bark 10-4 is using the occasion to launch a campaign that will get a pet oxygen mask on board every fire truck. These masks are effective on dogs, cats and other companion animals.

Information from a press release by Bark 10-4 reported that there are more than 30,000 fire departments and emergency medical offices nationwide and many of them don’t have the funds to buy a pet oxygen mask for each of their trucks.

So Bark 10-4 has created a sponsorship program for the public to purchase a mask for their local fire department. The mask costs $25.00 and the sponsor can designate which specific fire department receives the gift.

“Vets have used oxygen masks designed especially for animals for years,” said Lisa Huston of SurgiVet, the manufacturer of the mask. “These masks have found their way into the hands of first responders primarily through word of mouth and the generosity of compassionate pet owners. This program will go a long way toward raising awareness about a product that can save a lot of pets’ lives.”

Last spring the Rocky Mountain Telegraph reported a story about a house fire that was fully engulfed by flames when firefighters arrived. Inside they found the bodies of three newborn puppies and their mother. As they carried each one outside, they realized that one of the puppies moved a little.

They cooled off his body with water and placed their newly donated pet oxygen mask over his face. The puppy responded to the treatment.

“When he was first brought out, he was virtually lifeless – showing only a small amount of movement,” Fire Chief Keith McGee said. “And then within about 10 minutes, he began to move around a great deal – trying to wriggle away, out of the oxygen mask – and he began to whine and try to bark.”

Learn more about the Bark 10-4 Campaign.

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