KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Fire Department is getting a new tool on Tuesday that could save your pet's life in an emergency.
Right now, if firefighters tried to give your pet oxygen following a fire, they would try to use a traditional human oxygen mask on your pet. They don’t fit on most cats or dogs.
The new masks slide snugly onto an animal’s face. The masks come in a kit with three sizes.
The Kansas City Fire Department says this donation will help keep pets and their owners safe.
James Garrett, with the Kansas City Fire Department, said people sometimes dart back into a burning house to save their animals. That can be dangerous and even deadly. Garrett says firefighters do the best they can with human oxygen tools to help and the tools don't always work.
“The new masks will assure people that we have the best tools to resuscitate their pet,” Garrett explained.
Blue Springs resident Sheila Turner made the donation possible. She donated $75 of her own money to purchase one of the pet oxygen kits. Turner is a dog owner, and also has a close tie to firefighters. The father of her children died while on duty with the Kansas City Fire Department.
Jennifer Tribble, with the Invisible Fence Corporation, helped facilitate Turner’s donation.
"When somebody from the community steps in and says here is some money out of my pocket, it means something,” Tribble said.
The Invisible Fence Corporation has donated 10,000 pet masks to fire departments nationwide.
If you want to ensure your neighborhood fire station gets one, you can get in touch with the local branch of the Invisible Fence Company to partner with them for a fundraisers.
Nationwide, 40,000 pets die in house fires each year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Pets also start around 1,000 fires a year by doing things like knocking over candles or accidentally turning on stoves by knocking into dials on the oven, according to the National Fire Council.
Tip: Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed.
If you want to make sure your local fire department gets masks like these -- you can contact the Invisible Fence Company. They can help you put together a fundraiser -- to help buy those for the fire station.