ORISKANY, N.Y. - The Oriskany Fire Department received pet rescue oxygen masks from the Invisible Fence Company as a part of their Project Breathe Program.
Many pets die each year from house fires and breathing in smoke. Tuesday night, the Oriskany Fire Department got a donation that they say will help save more pet's lives.
"This gives us the ability to put 100% oxygen for the animal, and it's just like for a human, if you have smoke inhalation, the first thing you got to do is give people more oxygen because its damaging to the lungs same thing for the animal," Jeff Burkhart, Oriskany Fire Chief said.
The department will now have two pet oxygen mask kits. One of those kits was purchased by The Oriskany Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and the other kit is being donated by the Invisible Fence Company through their Project Breathe Program. Project Breathe is a pet oxygen mask donation program designed to provide these kits to fire departments and first responders. Each kit includes a small, medium, and large mask so they can assist large animals and small animals.
"Animals become part of the family and it'll make it easier, it'll be more effective," Burkhart said. "So like right now, we use the human masks to put over the nose or mouth of the animal and they don't get the full force of the oxygen, they don't get the full effects of it because it's not fully covering their nose."
Representatives for the Invisible Fence Company say they have seen the benefits of these masks since the project started in 2007.
"We've saved over 200 pets, we've donated about 25 thousand masks," Marie Bolick, with Invisible Fence said.
The goal for project breathe is to help every fire department get access to these masks, so more lives can be saved.
"I'd like to see all first responders have them," Chris Mitchell, with Invisible Fence said. "I mean we have everything for humans it'd be great for everybody to have something for pets too. If we can help these guys with resources to help save more lives, I mean that's what this is really all about."
For other fire departments or first responders looking to receive a pet oxygen mask donation, there is an application to fill out here.