Video: Smokey Paws could help save your pets' lives

Thursday 15th February 2018 5:01 pm
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RSPCA trustee Maggie Baker with firefighters ()

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Firefighters from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service have been showcasing how specialist pet oxygen masks will soon be saving the lives of animals caught up in fires.

The RSPCA has just donated 68 Smokey Paws kits to the emergency service’s crews in the two counties that will soon be used to revive pets in those crucial moments following a fire.

The aim is to prevent animals suffering and dying from the effects of smoke inhalation - as well as the additional trauma the death of an animal can cause the owners.

The kits - which cost around £90 each - have been paid for thanks funding from the animal welfare charity’s branches in the south west who are spearheading the project which is set to transform the lives of four-legged fire victims across the region.

More than 120 kits in total that have been bought by the regional branches are now in use by fire crews in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and Wiltshire.

The RSPCA hopes to equip all fire service vehicles with pet oxygen masks, with a longer-term goal of rolling this out to other emergency services such as ambulances.

Firefighters

from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Fire Service were given a helping hand from Ruben the collie as they showed how the equipment will be used by the emergency service.

RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “The bond between people and their pets can be incredible strong and so losing a pet in a house fire can be hugely traumatic.

“Our pets are vulnerable to the dangers of house fires, and particularly smoke inhalation, just like us.

“The fire and rescue services do a wonderful job, we’d like to help them not only save the lives of people but also of beloved pets who can be caught up in devastating and terrifying fires.

“By providing special animal oxygen kits for fire engines across Devon and Somerset, we hope to enable our brave and heroic firefighters to save even more lives.”

Chief Fire Officer Glenn Askew, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We have always work closely with the RSPCA, particularly on animal rescues where animals are in distress and our specialist equipment is required to release them.

“We rescue pets such as dogs, cats, budgies and many other animals so these masks designed to fit over the snout provide the best possible chance of survival. A big thank you to the RSPCA.”

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