Pet training and accessories company Invisible Fence Brand of Austin plans to donate 42 specialized oxygen mask kits for pets to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services on Tuesday for national “Love Your Pet Day.”
The masks will help first responders resuscitate and provide oxygen for dogs or cats found inside burning houses throughout Travis County.
The donation is among the latest from Invisible Fence’s Project Breathe, which has provided more than 6,000 of the kits to emergency responders across the country.
The masks come in three sizes, and have a plastic cup that seals around the muzzle of animals more snugly than masks intended for humans.
According to medics, anywhere from 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires every year in the United States.
Austin fire Capt. Rick Rutledge said that medics have worked with Fire Department equipment in the past to treat animals at the scene of a fire when there are no people to treat.
The department works with several different agencies throughout the county, and some don’t carry the specialized mask kit to help save pets.
“When you get out there and there is a fire and the pets are trapped, it’s great to be able to do something and try to help out,” Rutledge said.