Tuesday, August 17, 2010



From muzzles to masks: Fire crew seeks pet safety

(NECN: Amy Sinclair, Maine) - Helping pets breathe a little easier -- that's the goal of a new fundraising effort in Portland, Maine. The fire department is trying to raise money to equip trucks with pet oxygen masks.

It is a softer side of rescue work that the public doesn't usually get to see -- firefighters and paramedics at a fire scene, working to revive the family dog that's been overcome by smoke and heat.

The problem is that those oxygen masks are made for people and do not work well on animals.

With pet ownership on the rise in Maine's largest city, Portland officials hope to equip all eight fire stations with $40 pet oxygen masks that will fit large, medium and small animals.

$40 may not seem like a lot of money, but in an era of shrinking budgets, it is not an expense that most city fire departments can justify. That's where the Planet Dog Foundation comes in.

In partnership with pet owners, Planet Dog hopes to quickly raise $3,000 that will make these masks standard equipment on all rescue calls in Portland.


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