LITTLE kittens and big dogs can breathe a sigh of relief as a Cork society is campaigning for pet oxygen masks to be bought for the Cork city and county Fire Brigade.
Cork Animal Care Society is looking for a corporate sponsor to fund the vital masks for the Fire Brigade across the Rebel County.
Cofounder of the organisation Albert Kleyn said he started the campaign several months ago but had to put the campaign on hold due to ill health.
Then Albert saw a BBC video that showed a little puppy being rescued using the pet oxygen masks in California and he was inspired to restart the fundraising.
“I had tears in my eyes watching the little puppy being resuscitated with oxygen and CPR.
“I thought to myself, if they can do it in California, we can do it here.”
Albert said he has spoken to the Cork City Fire Department and they are delighted to participate in the scheme.
“The Fire Department is completely on board. They have invited me to Anglesea St to meet with the officers and discuss the campaign.” Albert said in his 17 years of working with animal welfare, he has seen and heard awful situations when animals get caught in fires.
“The firefighters have said they do come across these situations and these masks would help them to save an animals life.” The masks, which would cost €1,000 to equip the city division, come in three sizes, small, medium and large in order to cater for animals of all sizes.
“Obviously a Doberman or a Rottweiler is going to need a different size mask to a tiny kitten,” Albert explained.
Caroline Faherty, who works with Cork Animal Care Society, said smoke inhalation is the main thing that will kill a pet following a fire.
Caroline said for many people their pet dog or cat is like a family member and they would be devastated to lose them in a tragic accident.
“It is an awful thing to lose the family dog in a house fire, you might have had the animal for the past ten years. For a lot of people, it is like another child.” Caroline said the masks are an extra help to firefighters to get the animals out safe and sound.
“If we get a corporate sponsor, we would be absolutely delighted.”