While the actual number is not tracked, industry sources have estimated that anywhere between 40,000 and 150,000 pets perish every year from fire, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. On Saturday, Pet Food Express
and Whole Foods
helped Marin County take a huge step in combating this problem. At the 4th annual Mill Valley Dog Show, Dr. Erin Troy of Muller Veterinary Hospital
was able, thanks to support from Pet Food Express and Whole Foods, to present Marin County Fire Fighters with forty-four dog resuscitation kits. These kits will be on each fire truck in Marin County and fire fighters will receive special training in the use of these specialized kits.
“These kits will give the brave men and women the ability to help and respond to animals they find in distress,” Dr. Troy said. “It has become more recognized then ever that pets are a part of the family and in as such, the tools needed to help them should be available.”
The forty-four kits were donated by Pet Food Express and Whole Foods Mill Valley after a month long fundraising drive. Along with the kits, which include a CD training video, all fire fighters will attend a two hour in person training to learn how to approach a pet in distress and use the kit effectively. The kits, which cost around $125 each will be placed on every fire engine in Marin County and include three sizes of oxygen masks, oxygen supply lines, a rescue leash, decals and a quick guide instruction card.
Prior to Saturday most of the county’s fire department was not equipped with kits, nor were they trained to use them. Human resuscitation masks do not fit on dogs or other pets so without them, the first responders are limited in their scope of effectiveness. By outfitting an entire county at once, the price was kept at a manageable level and training streamlined. “Hopefully other counties will look at Marin and see how well received and necessary the kits are,” Dr. Troy said. With the addition of these kits and accompanying training, Marin County Fire Fighters now have the ability to save a pet they find in distress. Hopefully other counties will follow suit.