Firefighters revive unconscious dog with pet oxygen mask
A specialized piece of lifesaving equipment is being credited for helping to save the life of a family pet during a house fire in Abbotsford.
Firefighters arrived at the residence on Laburnum Drive around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night to find flames shooting through the roof.
Crews found a dog, Bella, trapped inside the home as fire consumed the top floor.
“We could hear the dog barking and Randy the owner, he was yelling at the dog Bella, ‘Come out Bella! Come out!’" said neighbour Alan Cameron. “She was upstairs but he couldn’t go back in because there was so much smoke.”
The large dog was unconscious when she was carried outside, where firefighters fitted a pet oxygen mask around her snout to deliver oxygen.
The four-year-old animal was eventually revived, and crews followed up by delivering more oxygen through a regular human oxygen mask. Officials told CTV News the pet was released from the vet and is staying with an Abbotsford firefighter who knows the dog’s family.
"Having a situation like this where it comes out in a positive outcome, it’s great," Abbotsford Fire Dep. Chief Jeff Adams said.
The cause of the house fire has not been determined and it's expected a fire investigator will be brought in to assist.
Jack Langstaff said neighbours and their kids were upset over the fire, but he felt heartened they were able to save the dog.
"It was pretty neat. It's nice to see that the fire department treats pets or that kind of thing – cherishes it, the same as human life," said Langstaff.
This is the second time in recent months the specialized pet oxygen masks have come to the rescue of ailing pets. In May, crews used the equipment to save a cat that had suffered smoke inhalation in a townhouse fire.
Most of Abbotsford fire trucks are now equipped with pet oxygen mask kits, which cost around $150.
“When the dog was squirming and [we’re] trying to get [the mask] over its snout to make sure when the dog’s breathing that they’re getting a full dose of oxygen, it’s a huge, huge plus for us to have these,” Adams said.
Each kit comes with three sizes of mask, which can be accommodated to fit dogs and cats, but also smaller animals like Guinea pigs, rabbits and even birds. The conical shape covers the whole mouth and snout to make a strong seal, so all oxygen is delivered to the struggling animal.
A group of dog lovers is holding a fundraiser in a bid to supply all B.C. fire halls with at least one pet oxygen mask.
“There are a lot of pet owners that would be concerned if a truck responded to a fire at their home and this piece of equipment wasn’t on it,” said fundraising organizer Elisha McCallum.
That fundraiser was sparked after a fire at the home of a Burnaby dog trainer, where seven dogs and two cats died after being overcome with smoke.
With a report from CTV Morning Live's Sheila Scott
Abby Fire says this mask probably made a big difference in saving the dog pulled from a burning house last night pic.twitter.com/tISSfNwgIs— Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) July 13, 2016