Pet oxygen masks donated to local fire departments - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Life Saving Pet Oxygen Masks

PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

When fire strikes a home, it's not just people who need saving. Household pets and other animals often fall victim to smoke inhalation.

But a dozen Portage and Summit County Fire Departments are now better equipped to rescue every member of a family in need.

All this year: A major barn blaze kills hundreds of farm animals in Medina County...a house cat, dies in a Sagamore Hills condo fire...and three pets killed just this past Christmas Eve in a Ravenna house fire

Many of these animals could have been saved if proper equipment was available.

"Approximately a year ago there were several animals, dogs brought in that were involved in a barn fire. That's what prompted the staff to try and save other animals in similar situations," said Dr. Dana Jacobson or the Stow Kent Animal Hospital.

The Invisible Fence Brand and Stow Kent Animal Hospital teaming up to provide local fire departments with 19 animal rescue oxygen masks that may prevent the kind of tragedies that took the lives of dogs Gracie and Annie's companions in an Edinburg fire.

"Annie's nose was 4 times bigger than normal, her side had started peeling off..she was oozing," said Kathy Cordaro of the Portage County APL.

"The mask could have been very beneficial for our girls and we know, some of the other dogs in the fire," said Amanda Davis from the Stow Kent Animal Hospital.

"We didn't have that capability at that time. We were able to get the dogs into one of the fire trucks. We cooled them down with wet blankets and stuff, were able to treat them as best we could. But now with this program a lot more dogs will be able to be treated and saved," said Edinburg EMT Shannon Paulus.

Fire departments got a demo and training from Project Breathe along with the tools to hopefully put pet owners at ease, when tragedy strikes where they live.

"I think it sends a message to the communities that our pets are part of our families," said Cordaro.

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