In the UK, firefighters have begun using customized mini oxygen masks specifically designed for cats and dogs (and other animals). I know that these masks will be useful. Being an ardent reader of news about cat rescue, I frequently bump into stories about firefighters saving the lives of cats accompanied by photographs of a firefighter providing oxygen to the cat. In the UK firefighters have used a standard oxygen mask designed for humans. I’d like to know the whether American firefighters routinely use pet customized oxygen masks.
The first time it was used in the UK was by the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service in Sept 2016. It is believed that the cat started the fire as she slid off a pile of ironing placed on the cooker and inadvertently turned on a hot plate. There is a lesson to be learned there by the way!
The cat’s name is Harriet. As the fire started she fled upstairs. Her owner could not retrieve her because of heavy smoke. Firefighters succeeded in saving her and employed the specially designed option mask.
This mask is designed and provided by a not-for-profit organisation called Smokey Paws. Smokey Paws is funded by personal individual donations and sponsors such as businesses like Pets at Home and rescue organisations such as the RSPCA and Cats protection.
In Scotland, the first fire station to use the mask was in Lerwick. Smokey Paws was founded by Lynn Carberry and Brian Lockyer. They discovered that there were customized oxygen masks in America but not in the UK and decided to do something about it.
The masks costs £90 each. There are three different sizes to fit animals from horses to mice. In addition to fire services, they hope to provide the oxygen masks to animal sanctuaries and shelters.
Source: thejournal.ie, Smokey Paws and Mirror Newspaper.
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