Firefighters Can Save Dog's and Cat’s Lives with the Right Equipment

If your home were to catch fire, it’s good to know that there are a growing number of fire departments that have started carrying pet oxygen masks to help save lives. Firefighters often do try to save pets in a fire, once all the people are safe. But even after rescue, a pet may be overcome by smoke, and human oxygen masks don’t work well on furry little snouts.

The pet oxygen masks carried by emergency workers fit small, medium, and large dogs and cats. The small oxygen masks can even be used for small animals such as pet rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs. This simple, inexpensive piece of equipment could save the lives of your beloved pets.

In 2004, Best Friends, a pet care company and chain of pet resorts, jump-started the effort to supply fire departments with pet oxygen masks through a dollar-for-dollar matching program called Cause for Paws. Through their work, and the generosity of humane societies and private donors, over 400 fire departments in 19 states now have life-saving pet oxygen masks.

Does your local fire department carry pet oxygen masks? If you’re curious, call yours and ask. If they don’t have the oxygen masks, and they don’t have the funds, here’s what you can do:

Go to Find out if Best Friends has a location in your area. If your fire department is within 30 miles of a Best Friends location, the organization will donate the masks through their matching program. If you make a donation of $50 or more, you can designate which fire department will receive a set of masks.