The tragic story of a trainer who lost nine animals in a house fire hit close to home to one Cloverdale resident.
Pam Knibbs with Earth Options Pet Products says she was shocked when she first heard the news of the fire that broke inside Dove Cresswell’s home in May.
But she says it was even more shocking to find out firetrucks are usually not equipped with pet oxygen masks.
“I actually lost sleep over it because I have three pugs and I couldn’t imagine having a house fire and the local fire department doesn’t have a mask for them. What would happen? I can’t even imagine it.”
Knibbs then spoke to Burnaby assistant fire chief Erik Vogel. She says their organizations has been very involved with the Burn Fund so they contacted Vogel immediately to see if the department needed pet masks.
Vogel says they did have an oxygen mask, but they wouldn’t fit all dogs or cats. But he says after working with Knibbs, the kits now include three different shapes and sizes to be able to help all pets.
“This isn’t something that departments would budget for so this is an item that a department would not have unless someone like Pam stepped up,” says Vogel.
“It sure seems to make a big impact on the people in Burnaby. They really appreciate us having something like that.”
Knibbs says finding them in Canada was impossible so she ordered them from Virginia and picked them up at the store’s Oregon location.
Earth Options Pet Products ordered seven masks in total. Five were donated to Burnaby Fire, one to Victoria and the other one might be going to Surrey.
Each kit was $119.08 CAD, but she says the founder of Earth Options did not hesitate and asked her to order them right away.
“This is just the beginning,” says Knibbs.
“We’re going to try to raise enough funds with our own costumers and then we will try to match what our costumers give us and then once we finish our research on who needs what in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, we’ll spread them out.”
She says this will be an ongoing campaign so they can get as many masks as possible, which could be in the hundreds.
Earth Options will be working alongside Happy Dogs Legacy to help distribute live-saving pet oxygen masks onto every fire truck possible.