Saving pet lives with oxygen masks

Pet shaped masks, for dogs or cats, could help save lives after a house fire

Firefighters will rescue pets from a burning building, but if the animal is suffering from smoke inhalation, chances of survival go way down. That's why Lysander's Town Clerk has donated a pet oxygen mask kit to her local ambulance corps.

Lisa Dell has a rescue dog (Lola also joined us on the Weekend Today in CNY set for the interview), and says she bought one kit, for just over $80, to donate to the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps. The owner of Lysander's Gates Funeral Home, Mike Kasprzak, says he'll match the donation, and Dell says she'd like to cover all four of the B'ville ambulances. She'd also like to see other ambulance and rescue groups getting the kits through donations, as funding is tough in this budget-cutting year.

The masks are specially designed to accomodate longer noses and smaller faces--a web check shows several brands being sold. The one Lisa picked includes three sizes of masks. They're designed not only to get oxygen where it's needed, but also to protect rescuers from possible bites by a scared animal.

For more information you can call the Lysander Town Clerk's office (Business Hours!) at 638-0224. A web search of 'pet oxygen masks' will also lead you to several companies that market the masks, as well as not for profits that promote the pet masks' distribution.