Pet Safety Foundation Donates Oxygen Masks for Pets

Ventura joins Orange and Los Angeles counties in the race to save pets’ lives by equipping fire trucks with pet oxygen masks

By Heather Navarro
|  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013  |  Updated 11:49 AM PDT
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Fido Can Breathe Easy with New Masks

Emma Zen Foundation

The Emma Zen Foundation has donated more than 1,000 pet oxygen masks to help Southern California fire departments save pets' lives from perishing due to smoke inhalation.

A pet safety foundation based in Anaheim is looking out for Fido by donating 98 pet oxygen masks to the Ventura County County Fire Department.

All 32 of the station’s trucks will be equipped with cone-shaped oxygen masks to help save the lives of those who can’t save themselves -- pets.

House fires claim the lives of about 40,000 pets each year, according to the Emma Zen Foundation, the foundation that is donating the masks to the fire agency.

The foundation donated more than 1,132 pet oxygen masks to fire agencies in Orange, Los Angeles San Bernardino and Riverside in 2012.

“When there’s a structure fire and a family is losing all of their possessions, the family is devastated,” said Bill Nash, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman. “On top of everything else, Fluffy is stuck inside.”

Firefighters use ill-fitting human masks for trapped cats and dogs on fire calls now. So this is welcome news for first responders.

The pet oxygen masks fit over a muzzle and get more oxygen to the animal faster.

On Thursday at Ventura County Fire Department Station 43 in Simi Valley, Debra Jo Chiapuzio, the president of Emma Zen, demonstrated the use of the mask on the foundation's namesake, a 105-pound Great Dane.

“We’re used to using oxygen masks on unconscious animals so I’ve got a teddy bear just in case,” Nash joked.

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