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West Milford's New Oxygen Masks, Home Decals Could Save Pets' Lives

Representatives of all six West Milford stations attended a session to learn about the new pet oxygen masks donated to the department by Canine Company.
Representatives of all six West Milford stations attended a session to learn about the new pet oxygen masks donated to the department by Canine Company. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Canine Company

West Milford firefighters received a donation of six sets of specially-designed pet oxygen masks kits – one for each station -- from at-home pet services provider Canine Company.

The kits were presented to the department during a meeting at Fire Company #6 earlier this week.

James Hatch, Canine Company’s Passaic County representative, demonstrated how the masks work with the help of Sloan, a 3-year-old German shepherd.

The kits are being deployed so each of the township’s stations so that first responders can deliver oxygen to pets at house fires and other emergencies.

Co. #6 Lt. Adam Bremy, who is also one of the township’s animal control officers, requested the masks after learning about the donation program from the West Milford Animal Shelter.

“The loss of pets in house fires and carbon monoxide leaks is all too common,” Bremy said.

“Until now, only the first aid squad had masks -- just one set for the entire township," he added. "Our response to protect not only human life but pet life, too, has increased dramatically.”

This year alone, at least a half-dozen family pets across the state have been rescued by responders using the masks.

Masks designed for humans don’t fit over a pet’s snout – which contributes to the 40,000 animal deaths from smoke inhalation nationwide each year.

Each donated kit includes three sizes to fit a wide range of pets.

Canine Company has been donating masks to first responders since 2008.

“Our company was founded by a family of pet lovers and our mission is to help other families keep their pets healthy, safe and happy,” the company’s Renee Coughlin said. “Our goal is to get these in to the hands of firefighters and EMTs wherever our clients live so they are ready to handle an emergency involving family pets.”

The company offers free “Pets Inside” decals that homeowners can post on a door or window to let rescuers know there are pets in the home. The decals are available from the fire department or by completing the Request a Decal form on the company’s website.

MORE INFO: www.caninecompany.com

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