Pet-friendly oxygen masks are being distributed around fire stations and installed on fire engines to help animals survive fires.
The Telegraph reports that fire-fighters in Kent took delivery of the first set of masks last November and the equipment has since been in use repeatedly, including helping treat 12 cats and four dogs in one emergency alone.
In other incidents, a horse received oxygen in Romney Marsh after a horse box was involved in a crash, and a Jack Russell trapped up to its neck in water under a metal grill drain received aid until it could be freed.
Members of the public, businesses, charities and the Duke of Kent have sponsored the masks, which cost £90 for a full reusable set, through not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws.
Smokey Paws co-founder Brian Lockyer said: “We now have 400 sets of masks at 28 different fire services across the country, but Kent is the one fire service that has really run with the project.
“We have small masks for guinea pigs and snakes, medium ones for cats and small dogs and large ones which help big dogs and even horses. Every week they are being used to help save pets’ lives.”
Fire-fighters in Kent are also among the first in the country to receive enhanced pet resuscitation training, and a dog mannequin is used to hone their pet-saving skills.
David Nolan, who is the project lead, said: “We know just how important people’s pets are to them and the risks they will take to rescue them.”
(Story source: The Telegraph – November 2016)