The New Brunswick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has donated several pet oxygen mask kits to three Fredericton area fire departments.
The kits were given to the Fredericton, Nackawic and Upper Kingsclear fire departments.
Vanessa Packman, fur safety co-ordinator, said the NBSPCA would like to see at least one kit per New Brunswick fire department.
"These are specialized masks," she said. "Human oxygen masks are flat, so they don't fit the faces of animals. These masks are cone shaped and come in different sizes so that they can fit over the animal's muzzle without having the oxygen escape."
Approximately two thirds of homes in New Brunswick have pets, Packman said. "Pets are often seen as family members, so it's important to be able to help every member of that family."
Paul Fleming, assistant deputy fire chief, said the pet oxygen masks are a great addition to have on the trucks.
"It's great! A lot of people's pets are as close to them as children and it's horrible when there is a fire. People become so distressed because that's a loved one that's in there. Our job is to protect that family and the pets are part of that family."
"These masks are important because a pet can't tell you how they are feeling or what they need. People don't tend to realize these pets are stuck in that fire as well, breathing in all that smoke and they need the oxygen."
Fleming said that the Fredericton departments had been looking into the kits. "These are really important and definitely a great addition to have on board of the trucks. I hope that more departments will be able to purchase them in the future."
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