OVIEDO, Fla. – The Seminole County Fire Department is receiving new life-saving tools this month.
In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog month, Invisible Fence of Central Florida is donating 20 pet oxygen masks to help reduce the number of fatalities.
The organization says more than 40,000 pets die in fires every year, most of them succumbing to smoke inhalation.
The statistics prompted Invisible Fence to create a program called “Project Breathe.”
“There was a need for something like Project Breathe to be in place to protect those pets,” Invisible Fence sales representative Bradley Baker said.
Thousands of pet oxygen masks are donated on behalf of Project Breathe to first responders around the country.
Seminole County Fire Department Chief Otto Drozd III said pets become an integral part of families’ lives.
He says when his teams rush to emergency scenes, it is not only humans impacted by fires.
“This gives us the ability to not only make a difference in the lives of a family, but in the pets that are a portion of every one of our families,” Drozd said.
Firefighters say previous methods used to revive pets saved from fires were more time-consuming. They say every second counts and the oxygen masks are more effective.
“What these masks give us the ability to do is really provide that life-saving option in those critical minutes to revive pets,” Drozd said.
Each of the 20 stations will get pet oxygen masks. There are three different sizes used to fit around the noses and mouths of various cats and dogs.
The fire department says it is thankful to Invisible Fence for the donation.