Donation helps pets breathe easy
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Mar 11, 2013 | 2345 views | 3 3 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy Fire Department Division Chief Andy Kellogg on March 4 displays one of the 02 Fur Life oxygen masks donated by the Havanese Club of Northern California. The department hopes to carry a set of the pet oxygen masks in all its vehicles.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy Fire Department Division Chief Andy Kellogg on March 4 displays one of the 02 Fur Life oxygen masks donated by the Havanese Club of Northern California. The department hopes to carry a set of the pet oxygen masks in all its vehicles. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Pets in distress will be able to breathe easier, thanks to a dog club that donated five pet oxygen kits to the Tracy Fire Department.

The masks donated by the Havanese Club of Northern California, a branch of the national organization dedicated to the Havanese dog breed, will enable firefighters to provide oxygen to canines and felines suffering from smoke asphyxiation.

Each kit costs $80 and contains masks for three different-sized muzzles, oxygen air tubes, a laminated instruction sheet and leash. They also include incident report forms to track statistics, decals, an instructional video and a PowerPoint presentation on DVD.

In the past, similar masks were donated by a local animal rescue group, but Tracy Fire Division Chief Andy Kellogg said those were taken out of service three or four years ago after they got too old.

Since then, the department has adapted human masks, usually the size used for children, but those don’t efficiently deliver oxygen because they don’t fit tightly around dog muzzles.

Kellogg said the new ones are a dramatic improvement.

“They’re pretty cool,” Kellogg said of the new masks. “We were pretty excited to see them. We’ve adapted human tools, but these will be more effective.”

The department typically uses a mask on an animal twice a year, he said.

The kits were presented to Kellogg at the Havanese Club of Northern California’s annual luncheon at the Banta Inn, 22563 Seventh St., in Banta, on Jan.13.

According to Tracy resident Susan Baxter, who belongs to the club, members decided to donate the masks as part of a local fundraising effort.

“We all know the cities and counties can’t afford to buy these things themselves, so we can help our communities,” Baxter said. “It’s a small thing to do for ourselves and our fellow pet owners in Tracy.”

The club raised enough money through donations to purchase 10 kits and plan to provide a second batch of five kits to the department. Members hope to eventually purchase a total of 15 so one kit can go on each department vehicle, including engines and utility trucks.

Havanese Club President Elaine Cirimele said members are trying to spread the word and solicit donations.

“It’s really a worthy cause,” she said. “Almost every household has some kind of pet. This will benefit all pet owners.”

For information: www.THEHCNC.com.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 835-3030 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

Comments
(3)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
cody01
|
March 12, 2013
Animals are ppl too.
sb2482
|
March 11, 2013
I would like everyone to know that thus far, the donations for the masks have come from: Jules Veterinary Center, Bella's Grooming, and Animal Rescue of Tracy, as well as local Tracy residents. A huge thank you to all of them for their generous donations.
doors17
|
March 11, 2013
Very nice! Thank you Havanese Club of Northern California!


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