Pet oxygen masks to be part of gear on Abbotsford fire trucks

VANCOUVER – Nine rescue kits containing pet oxygen masks have been donated to firefighters in Abbotsford, the City of Langley and Langley Township. The kits cost $130 each and come courtesy of Mountain View Veterinary Hospital.

The hospital set up a fundraiser to buy the masks, offering pet nail trims by donation. Staff then worked with the fire rescue service and the Abbotsford Fire Fighters Association to get them on the trucks.

The City of Abbotsford has an estimated pet population of more than 45,000 and many of those remain at home while the owners are at work or out. It is hoped the pet oxygen masks will greatly increase animals’ chances of survival following a fire.

“The pet oxygen masks are more shaped to fit over a dog or a cat’s pointy nose, they’re not as flat,” said Dr. Renee Ferguson of Mountain View. “They create a better seal…so they can get a more efficient oxygen delivery.”

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The initial goal was to provide the oxygen masks for the Township of Langley Fire Department but due to overwhelming support they were able to reach that goal and then reach out to other fire departments.

To date, the Township of Langley, the City of Langley and the City of Abbotsford have all agreed to carry the kits on their fire trucks.

Mountain View staff will also offer training to the firefighters on the masks and pet resuscitation techniques. The masks can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and more.

-with files from Jon Azpiri and Catherine Urquhart

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