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Local firefighters better prepared for pet emergencies

Pet lifesavers - Fire stations in the Town of Minto recently received a donation of pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence Brand and Heartland Animal Hospital. Demonstrating how the masks are applied, with the help of Ringo, an Australian shepherd, are, from left: Don Diebold of Invisible Fence, Dr. Kim Watson-McKenzie of Heartland Animal Hospital and Minto Fire Chief Chris Harrow.
photo by Patrick Raftis

Local firefighters better prepared for pet emergencies


The Minto Fire Department is better equipped to handle pet-related emergencies thanks to a donation of pet oxygen masks by Heartland Animal Hospital of Listowel, Mount Forest and Drayton and Invisible Fence Brand by KW Sprinkler.

Three pet oxygen mask kits, one each for the Harriston, Palmerston and Clifford fire stations were supplied to Heartland Animal Hospital by Invisible Fence Brand through the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association in exchange for a donation to the Farley Foundation, a charitable organization which assists seniors, disabled individuals and women at risk of abuse by subsidizing the non-elective veterinary care of their pets.

Each pet oxygen mask kit contains three re-usable masks appropriately sized for small animals (cats, small dogs, animals with short snouts such as ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds), medium-sized animals (20 to 25 pounds) and large domestic animals (dogs 50 pounds and over). Heartland Animal Hospital will also provide initial training and on-going support to the Minto Fire Department as required.

“After learning about the availability of pet oxygen masks through the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, we were eager to order kits for our community,” said Dr. Kim Watson-McKenzie of Heartland Animal Hospital. “By providing our local fire department with the tools they need to assist animals before veterinary care can be accessed, we hope that this helps save the lives of animals who are affected by a tragic event such as a fire.”

“Pets are often on the scene in emergency situations and like humans, they are susceptible to health risks arising from a fire,” says Minto Fire Chief Chris Harrow. “While our team never hesitates to assist an animal in distress, this donation means that we now have the proper equipment to save a pet’s life during an emergency.

“We do get pets that are pretty groggy sometimes, especially at barn fires,” he notes.

Watson-McKenzie pointed out that kits are also helpful at accident scenes, where animals are often in shock due to a crash.

“Pet’s are secondary to people, as it should be, but they can suffer from smoke inhalation as well,” said Don Diebold of Invisible Fence Brand, adding the company has donated over 10,000 pet oxygen masks to fire departments across North America in the last three or four years.

Vol 46 Issue 03

January 18, 2013



Wellington County

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