Pet Oxygen Masks Saves Lives - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Pet Oxygen Masks Saves Lives

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Bay County, Fla. -

Tonight, one Bay County family is picking up the pieces after a blaze ripped through their home. During the incident, two of their pets were trapped inside. But thanks to the life saving equipment aboard many Bay County fire trucks, one of them was saved.

In July 2011, we introduced you to the O2 Fur Life pet oxygen mask. The kits that cost about $65 a piece include three different sized masks to suit any type of pet.

Bay County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Darrel Wise says they are glad to have this equipment on board, especially since families become emotional attached to their pets.

"For a lot of people, a pet is their kid or child. Some people don't have children, some people have pets and children, but they love them and treat them the same," Wise said.

During Monday's fire it was used to resuscitate Chelsea, the family cat. Firefighters say this was the ideal tool for this circumstance, where the cat was lethargic and barely breathing.

"It was used last night at a structure fire. The guys rescued a cat from the structure. They brought it outside and it was unresponsive. They able to put the oxygen on the cat and it eventually came around and left with the homeowner," Wise said.

Each year more than 40,000 pets fall into peril because of house fires. Fire departments are generally not allowed to spend tax dollars on equipment that can save the lives of animals, but thanks to a grant all of this was made possible.