Pets in Hampshire can breathe a little easier after Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service took delivery of a number of specially designed oxygen masks for animals rescued from fires.
Four sets of three masks, which were provided by the not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws with funds donated by Denplan, have now been distributed to each of the county’s animal rescue specialists.
Jim Green, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Animal Rescue Specialist, said: “In 2013/14 our animal rescue specialists attended 40 fires. With around 60% of households having pets, these masks can mean the difference between life and death for the cats and dogs we rescue. Animal Rescue Specialists attend every animal related incident in Hampshire and these masks will have an immediate positive impact.”
Professor Josh Slater, British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association, added: “Any animal suffering from smoke inhalation requires urgent veterinary medical attention. However their chances are vastly improved if they receive oxygen at the scene, before they reach the care of the vet. Firefighters have successfully revived animals in the past by adapting human equipment, however these purpose made masks will significantly improve their chance of survival.”
Brian Lockyer, from Smokey Paws, said: “We believe it is likely that hundreds of pets suffer from smoke inhalation across the UK every year. Pet oxygen masks significantly increase survival rates, as the human oxygen masks are ineffective on most pets.
“Smokey Paws’ mission is to raise enough money through public donations, to equip every First Responder in the UK with these lifesaving masks. We believe every pet deserves the same chance of survival as other family members do. Please visit our website www.smokeypaws.co.uk and make your donation or sponsorship pledge.”
Sharon Ellis, Community Fund Chairman and Head of HR at Denplan, commented: “As a provider of pet health payment plans, we’re delighted to support Smokey Paws in their mission to make these life-saving pet oxygen masks available across the UK. We understand the important role that pets play in a family so it’s great to be able to provide the equipment for Hampshire Fire and Rescue, and support the county’s community, of which we’ve been part of for almost 30 years.”