Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department is finishing up Fire Prevention Month and its month long activities by teaming up with Invisible Fence Brand of Virginia to help reduce the number of pets killed or injured in house fires each year. It is estimated that between 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires.
A new donation of pet oxygen masks will provide a breath of fresh air for our four-legged furry friends in the county. Pet owners can rest easy knowing that Roanoke County is now equipped with 13 pet oxygen mask kits, enough to outfit each first run fire truck or ambulance in every county station.
In the case of a fire, once firefighters have assured human life is safe, attention may turn to pets in the home. When given the opportunity, many rescue personnel would like to help pets but haven’t had the proper equipment to do so. In the past firefighters have tried adapting human oxygen masks to fit an animal, but human masks don’t fit properly on the nose of dogs and cats, thus not providing the necessary supply of oxygen.
The plastic, cup-shaped animal resuscitation masks, which come in three sizes, were originally developed for use by veterinarians. They seal around the muzzle of an animal tighter than a human mask. This helps firefighters deliver the right amount of oxygen to the pet and also protects firefighters from an injured animal that may try to bite out of fear.
Company officials from Invisible Fence Brand of Virginia presented the 13 pet oxygen mask kits to Chief Richard E. Burch, Jr. of Roanoke County Fire & Rescue earlier today at the Clearbrook Fire & Rescue Station. The Roanoke Valley SPCA was also on hand with some adoptable furry friends who demonstrated, with the help of firefighters, how the masks fit.