Fire district receives pet oxygen masks |

Fire district receives pet oxygen masks

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyFrom left, Eagle River Fire Protection District firefighters Nathan Pierce, Scott Pottratz, Ethan Vroman and John Bailey with Phinda the dog. The district recently received a donated set of pet oxygen masks.

AVON, Colorado – Think people are the only ones who have a cause these days? Think again. The Eagle River Fire Protection District just received a donated set of pet oxygen masks on behalf of Raven, an 8-year-old veteran dog and one of the top ranked female Labrador retrievers in the DockDog discipline of the Iron Dog competition.

Because Raven gets so much attention, her owners decided that she needed to support a worthy cause. They chose to help fire and rescue teams throughout Colorado increase their animal rescue capabilities by raising funds to supply pet oxygen masks on fire trucks.

These cone-shaped masks are designed specifically for animals that need assistance breathing and can be used on a variety of animals, from dogs to cats and birds to guinea pigs. An estimated 40,000 pets die each year from the respiratory effects of smoke inhalation.

“So many of our local residents and visitors have pets,” said Gail McFarland of Eagle River Fire Protection District. “Having pet oxygen masks available during emergencies allows us to provide care to another member of your family – your pet.”

The district received one set of three masks, but more kits are needed to allow each of the district’s five engines to carry at least one kit for emergency response.

Each kit is $70 and contains three different sized masks, a couple of slip leads, mask instructions, and a training video, as well as decals to designate the fire truck and station as carrying this equipment. There is also a first aid page for pets and a location for the fire department to make a list of all local veterinarians to complete the package.

How can you help? Donations can be mailed to Raven at P.O. Box 725, Palmer Lake, CO 80133. Please email and request a donation form. The form does allow you to specify which fire department you would like your donation to go to, and any size donation will help. While the bulk of the money for the oxygen kits comes from private donations, donations are also collected at the DockDog events in which Raven competes.

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