1. ITV Report

Fire service introduces oxygen masks for pets

Credit: ITV Meridian

Pets in Kent now stand a much higher chance of surviving a house fire after the fire and rescue introduced new pet-friendly oxygen masks.

In the last 12 months the fire service attended more than 40 fires where dogs and cats were involved, some of which have resulted in the pets being given oxygen.

But in the past they have had to use masks designed for people.

The pet masks, supplied by not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, are designed specifically for animals.

They will initially be carried on fire engines in Ash-cum-Ridley, Deal, Faversham and Sittingbourne but it is hoped that masks will eventually be available at all fire stations around the county.

Credit: ITV Meridian

If there's a fire in your home most of us would try to get out as quickly as possible. While your pet will be just as terrified as you, it's more likely to run and find a place to hide, so they could potentially be in a smoke filled space for longer.

We know that pets are precious to people and owners often put their own lives at risk to rescue them although we would always advise against returning to any burning building.

– Station Manager, Dave Nolan
Credit: Smokey Paws

The fire service tries hard to revive pets using human oxygen masks but these are not designed for use on animals. The pet oxygen masks are specifically designed for dogs, cats and smaller animals like rabbits, snakes and mice and therefore are more efficient than trying to use human masks.

– Lynn Carberry, Smokey Paws

The four sets of masks being given to KFRS are a great start to equipping all of Kent's fire stations and were made possible from donations from national pet care company, Animals at Home, members of the public and The Domestic Cleaning Alliance.

Smokey Paws is actively encouraging members of the public or Kent and Medway businesses to make donations so that these pet oxygen masks are available at fire stations across the county. People can donate via their website.