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Nonprofit donates oxygen masks for pets to fire departments

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

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Firefighters know the importance of taking that extra step to save pets from burning buildings.

“To people, they’re part of the family,” Raymond Fire Chief Kevin Pratt said.

That’s why members of the Merrimack Valley Kennel Club based in Derry have spent the last four years raising money to purchase pet oxygen masks to donate to fire departments around the state to store on fire trucks.

The club made its first donations Thursday afternoon by giving the Raymond Fire Department two sets of masks and four more to the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department. The Candia Volunteer Fire Department will get six sets and the Derry Fire Department will receive two at a presentation Friday morning.

Pratt said his department has used older versions of pet masks in the past and was grateful for the new sets, which include three sizes that can be used on dogs, cats and other animals large and small.

“It’s going to be great to have more,” Pratt said.

Raymond saw 16 fires last year and about half involved pets, Pratt said.

Danville Animal Control Officer Sheila Johannesen has worked on the fundraising project with the Merrimack Valley Kennel Club. She said the goal is to continue purchasing more masks, which cost $65 per set, to donate to fire departments statewide.

“It would be nice if every truck had one,” Johannesen said.

Cindy McHugh, Deerfield’s animal control officer and captain of Deerfield’s rescue squad, said a pet organization gave her department a mask some time ago and that the additional sets will be helpful.

“The only way we would get them is through a donation,” she said.

Anyone interested in donation to the fundraising effort to provide more pet oxygen masks to additional fire departments is encouraged to contact Johannesen at 382-3679.

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- See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/Nonprofit-donates-oxygen-masks-for-pets-to-fire-departments#sthash.HQvT4sZS.dpuf

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Derry Fire Masks

DERRY —When fire strikes, it’s not only humans often needing assistance.

When pets are in danger during a fire or other traumatic situation, it’s imperative to get care quickly.

The Derry Fire Department received a recent donation of two Survival Pet Oxygen Mask kits to support the department’s efforts to help treat pets and animals in distress.

The donation came from Sheila Johannesen, a representative of the Merrimack Valley Kennel Club.

Oxygen masks for pets are a much-needed piece of apparatus in the fire department, with firefighters often using these supplies when they need to perform CPR on pets.

Last week, officials used pet oxygen supplies to help resuscitate a cat, one of three cats rescued from a Dustin Avenue structure fire.

“We are extremely grateful to all members of the Merrimack Valley Kennel Club for this and previous donations that help us fulfill our mission of ‘Plan, Prevent and Provide’ to all two- and four-legged residents of Derry,” a statement in a press release read.

Money raised from Merrimac Valley Kennel Club dog shows and events support the pet oxygen mask

The club has  donated more than 14 kits to departments in Derry, Candia, Raymond and Deerfield. The goal,  is to eventually outfit every emergency response vehicle in the state with a Surgivet Pet Oxygen Mask kit.

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The Candia Volunteer Fire Department is honored and grateful to have received a donation of 7 pet oxygen mask kits from the Merrimack Valley Kennel Club. The kits contain small, medium and large oxygen masks that are designed specifically to fit animals and provide high flow oxygen to animals who have suffered respiratory insult, such as smoke inhalation during a fire.

The CVFD received accolades for the successful rescue and resuscitation of the family cat from a house fire on Depot road in January of 2015.

The pet oxygen mask kits will be carried on all 4 primary response apparatus.