A Breath of Fresh Air For Pets in Okeechobee County

The Wag'N O2 Fur Life Program allows first responders across the country access to critical equipment that can save a pet's life. Pet Oxygen Masks are necessary to resuscitate animals suffering from smoke inhalation. Unfortunately, most municipalities across the country don't allow their first responders to purchase equipment for non-human life support.

The Okeechobee County Fire Rescue in Okeechobee, Florida, was lucky and so are the residents and pets of Okeechobee now. An anonymous donor sponsored the department through the Wag'N O2 Fur Life Program, in memory of Bill Hays and Jerry Curry.

Undersheriff Stephen stated, "Once again our community's generosity amazes me and makes me proud to be from Okeechobee. A wonderful contribution for a recognized need."

Since its inception, the O2 Fur Life Program has provided more than 5,400 pet oxygen mask kits to Fire, EMS & Police Department across the United States and Canada. The organization also provided training materials to help with the seamless deployment of this new pet life saving equipment.

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"We're quickly finding out just how great of a need this is," explains Ines de Pablo, President and Founder. "Dryer fires, furnace fires, pets knocking candles over with their tails, you name it, fires are started because of it. We were shocked to find that most fire departments aren't equipped to save your pet's life in an emergency. These pet oxygen masks can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, hamsters, alpacas, wolves and many more species and are reusable."

Pet oxygen masks can be purchased directly by first responder in the U.S. and Canada. Rescue units that are not budgeted to acquire the kits and/or have difficulty finding community support can apply for assistance to acquire pet oxygen mask kits through the Wag'N O2 Fellowship Program. The Wag'N Fellowship Program uses donated monies to distribute pet oxygen masks nationally to organizations in need. Wag'N is also committed to helping communities raise enough money to sponsor local departments.

Included in each Wag'N O2 Fur Life Pet Oxygen Mask Kit are a set of three pet oxygen masks and corresponding oxygen tubes(22mm), laminated instructions to remind first responders of necessary resuscitation steps, a kennel lead, two "Pet Oxygen Masks On Board" decals for display at the station and on emergency vehicles, one instructional DVD, two Animal Incident report (AIR) Forms, as well as two electronic files used to train emergency personnel – all wrapped up in a handy Wag'N O2 Fur Life carry bag that can also be used to contain small animals.

De Pablo explains, "We're making great strides, but we've still got a lot of work to do. Our goal is to make every community across the country aware of the solutions that will help save the lives of pets and serving law enforcement K9s."