Fire departments help pets breathe easy

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Fire departments help pets breathe easyLosing one’s home to a fire can be a devastating experience for a family to endure. Most Americans buy insurance plans for their houses and family members to guarantee a measure of safety, should bad luck raise its ugly head. Since – according to the Human-Animal Bond Survey by The Hartz Mountain Corp – about 75 percent of pet owners consider their animals a member of the family, new steps are being taken to protect the safety of our four-legged friends as well.

This week, fire departments in Chicago and south suburban Matteson, Illinois, secured new ways to help save the lives of pets threatened by house fires, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Oxygen masks developed specifically for pets will be distributed to the departments, and firefighters will be trained in their proper use. The masks are cone-shaped, and designed to fit over the snouts of pets, including dogs, cats and some birds.

Prior to use by these fire departments, the masks had been used by veterinarians for assistance in pet care.

According to the Tribune, about 150,000 pets die in fires each year, mostly due to smoke inhalation.

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