When a fire breaks out, “pets instinctively look for a hiding place instead of trying to flee the building,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jason Harper.
Sadly, as a result, many pets die each year as a result of smoke inhalation.
However, for family pets in Port Moody, that no longer has to be the case.
Brian Borsoff, a long-time Port Moody resident and owner of Burnaby Auto Body, donated two pet oxygen mask kits to Port Moody Fire Rescue.
Each kit contains three specially-designed animal masks, in different sizes, which can be used by firefighters to treat pets suffering from smoke inhalation.
“With these kits, we’ll have the right equipment to help even the smallest members of our community,” said Harper. “We thank Borsoff for his generous donation.”
Pets are a part of the family, said Borsoff. “My wife and I came up with the idea to donate pet oxygen masks after seeing a news report about pets that had died in a fire. I want my dog, and all pets in Port Moody, to have the best possible chance for survival if tragedy strikes.”
Borsoff added he was pleased to be able to “give back to this wonderful community, and to help out our firefighters, who do such amazing work every day of the year.”
Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay – a pet owner himself – also expressed his gratitude to Borsoff.
“No one wants to see their pet suffer,” he said. “The donated masks will mean our firefighters have a better chance of saving the life of an animal, big or small.”
Port Moody Fire Rescue currently has a one-size-fits-all oxygen mask for dogs. The donated masks, which come in small, medium, and large sizes, will enable firefighters to treat other animals, such as cats, gerbils, or birds. Port Moody Fire Rescue personnel will receive training on how to use the pet oxygen masks in February 2017.
When training is complete, the masks will be ready for use as needed. The mask kits were purchased from an American company called Wag N’ 02 Fur Life. Visit www.petoxygenmasks.org for more information.