Chippewa Valley (WQOW) - Local firefighters and EMS said a new donation will help save pets when an emergency hits.
On Thursday night, Invisible Fence of the Chippewa Valley is donating pet oxygen masks to the Altoona Fire Department. This is a part of the company's Project Breath campaign to help save animals that inhaled smoke during a fire.
Invisible Fence said unofficial estimates show 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in house fires, and most are because of smoke inhalation. So far, Project Breathe donated more than 18,000 masks. Brian Roach, with Invisible Fence, said there is no easy way to track animal lives saved, but they have almost 200 known saves.
“Our first responders and firefighters haven't had anything directly related to pets to help them out. Unlike regular, human oxygen masks, we're hoping that we can give them something that they can use to help our good friends and our pets," Roach said.
Six Eau Claire and fire township fire departments will also receive masks at later dates. Eau Claire fire crews said they periodically have to deal with pets and have used human oxygen masks on them in the past, but these new pet masks will be more efficient because they can cover the entire snout.
Invisible Fence is accepting requests to have pet oxygen masks donated to any fire departments.