Fire department gets oxygen masks for puppies

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - When there's a house fire it's important to get out as quickly as you can.  One of the biggest dangers for us is smoke inhalation but that's also a huge risk for our pets.

"We are concerned about life safety issues with humans but now we're a little bit concerned about the animal population as well," said Kennett Fire Department Captain Paul Spain.

Concern about pet injuries and deaths from fire led Captain Spain and others to do some searching.

"They're specially made to fit over the snouts of the animals and basically they come in a small, medium and large depending on the size of the animal," said Captain Spain.

They use medical grade oxygen, just like they would for a human after a fire.  After only a few weeks they're already putting the masks to use.  Just last week they responded to a house fire where a small puppy was inside the home.

"Mild smoke inhalation, but low and behold we had the devices and were able to give it oxygen to help it survive," said Captain Spain.

Captain Spain said we learned during Hurricane Katrina that many are unwilling to leave their pets behind.

"We find that even in a structure fire, yeah, hopefully the people make it out ok but their next concern is their pets," said Captain Spain.

The masks run about $65 dollars a set and were funded entirely through donations.  There will be a training session for the Kennett Fire Department on Tuesday night to learn how to use the new animal oxygen masks correctly.

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