A pet is considered a trusted member of the family and is often left at home alone. This leaves them at greater risk of injury should a disaster occur. A successful fundraiser has now expanded to Abbotsford that will allow for the purchase of pet oxygen masks on city fire trucks. The specially-designed masks could significantly increase the chance that the animal can be revived in the case of smoke inhalation.
Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, in co-operation with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service and the Abbotsford Fire Fighters Association, has provided four Pet Oxygen Mask Kits for placement on city fire trucks.
Abbotsford has an estimated pet population of over 45,000. Many of those animals remain at home alone while their owners leave for the day, some even in crates or behind a locked door. In the case of a natural disaster or fire they are left to fend for themselves, and, unlike humans who flee from danger, pets instinctively seek a hiding place within the home.
The fire trucks will now have equipment readily available to help rescue them on-site if necessary. The reusable masks come in small, medium and large and work with the Fire Service’s existing oxygen supply systems. They can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and many other household pets.
Mountain View began fundraising for pet oxygen masks in early April 2015 by offering pet nail trimming by donation. Their initial goal was to provide Pet Oxygen Mask Kits for the Township of Langley Fire Department, but within two weeks they had surpassed their goal and were able to expand to surrounding communities.
A special presentation of the masks took place on June 1st in Abbotsford at Fire Hall 8. In addition to the donation of the masks, Mountain View offered training to city fire fighters on the use of the masks and pet resuscitation techniques.