ORANGE PARK – In the eyes of most pet owners, a pet is another member of the family. So it’s only natural for families to want every effort to be made to save their pets during an emergency …
ORANGE PARK – In the eyes of most pet owners, a pet is another member of the family. So it’s only natural for families to want every effort to be made to save their pets during an emergency situation such as a fire. Clay Humane shares that feeling and their recent donation of pet oxygen masks to Clay County Fire Rescue shows that.
Pet oxygen masks are specifically designed for use on animals and function the same way that normal oxygen masks do for humans. Smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation can be extremely harmful to pets, resulting in death before they can be taken to a veterinarian for help. Fire and rescue crews having access to pet oxygen masks will allow pets to be treated faster, saving more lives.
Clay Humane donated 10 sets of the masks to Clay County Fire Rescue Station 17 at 3394 Peoria Rd. near Orange Park last week. Station Captain Bernita Bush said that the sets will be distributed to rescue units around the county. Bush also said the masks could be used for wildlife affected by brush or wild fires in the area as well.
Each set of masks contains three sizes – small, medium and large. The masks can be used on a range of animals, from dogs and cats to ferrets, birds and more. Each set costs approximately $90.
Despite the cost of the sets, approximately $900, Clay Humane Executive Director Linda Welzant said the low-cost pet clinic just wanted to do what they can to help the animals and pet owners.
“We wanted to help the animal owners in our community by supporting the efforts of our fire and rescue professionals so they will have the right tools to give our animals their best chance at survival,” said Welzant.
Bush and Deputy Chief Jason Boree said that while there are other methods used to help pets after a fire, these masks are better than any of those methods.
“They provide more concentrated oxygen and help contain it around the nose and mouth of the animal so that it can work faster,” said Boree.
While these masks will help save the lives of pets, both Bush and Boree stressed that priority should never be given to save the life of a pet over that of a person.
“If you can grab them quickly and easily then do so, but never go back into a house on fire to retrieve a pet,” said Bush. “Leave a door open behind you and they’ll often follow you out, if not then rescue crews will search for them just like they search for humans.”