They say a cat has nine lives, and one lucky feline can thank the London Fire Brigade for saving one of theirs.
The cat was one of two rescued from a house fire in Paddington, and was saved from smoke inhalation thanks to an animal oxygen mask. The London Fire Brigade are currently trialling the pet masks as part of a pilot scheme in the London boroughs of Battersea, Paddington, Richmond and Hammersmith. If the scheme is successful they will be rolled out to fire trucks all over London.
‘Crews did a great job in challenging conditions to tackle this house fire and then were able to focus on the pets they had rescued.
‘Having something specially designed made so much difference as the mask is properly sealed around the animal’s muzzle and all the oxygen is going into their lungs.’ Nathan Beeby, who works as a station officer, and was at the scene of the fire.
Prior to the pet oxygen masks, crews would improvise with human oxygen masks. Now, thanks to not-for-profit Smokey Paws, animal oxygen masks will save lives. The masks are specially designed to fit around the snouts of most animals to improve oxygen flow. They come in three sizes, and have been used for a variety of animals. From rabbits to snakes!
The founders of Smokey Paws, Lynn and Brian, came up with the idea for the non-profit after they created a fire escape plan for their house. Lynn assumed animal oxygen masks would be used in the UK, as they are in the United States, her home country. However, after finding out that fire brigades did not carry oxygen masks she and Brian knew something had to be done. Smokey Paws has now delivered over 2,000 masks.
To help Smokey Paws deliver more masks you can donate to their cause.