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The Wag'N O2 Fur Life Program, also known as the Pet Oxygen Mask Initiative, was started in 2008 to provide life-saving equipment for pets. Many times during house fires pets will hide and when found they require resuscitation because of smoke inhalation. Wag'N Enterprises, Inc. has spearheaded an effort to equip fire departments with the equipment they need to save pets ranging from canines to snakes.
Wag'N Enterprises, Inc. provides both first responders and private citizens with a variety of Pet Safety Gear. One of these products is a pet oxygen mask, manufactured by McCulluch Medical. This cone-shaped device comes in three sizes and can resuscitate almost any household animal that has suffered from smoke inhalation, including dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, birds and snakes.
According to Ines de Pablo, President of Wag'N Enterprises, the masks can be attached to any oxygen tank. Emergency personnel can treat a non-responsive animal by covering its nose and mouth with the mask, removing its top stopper and attaching it to an Ambu Bag. For larger pets, an adult-sized Ambu Bag is used, and for smaller pets, pediatric Ambu Bags are utilized.
The Wag'N O2 Fur Life Program's goal is to equip fire, police and EMS departments and military K-9 teams with the life saving pet oxygen mask kits. These kits include a small, medium and large oxygen mask and tubing. They come in a carrying bag, which can also be used to help restrain cats in the event that they become distressed while receiving . The kit also include a leash, pet CPR instructions, and a training DVD on how to use the pet oxygen mask system.
The oxygen masks are easy to clean and can be reused numerous times. The kit retails for $65.00 plus shipping, and emergency first response agencies can obtain them in three different ways.
For departments that are able to afford the equipment, they can purchase it online at www.wagn4u.com. For departments that require financial assistance in obtaining the kits, Wag'N Enterprises provides two options. First, according to Ines de Pablo, many departments her company has worked with have had success in reaching out to local organizations for sponsorship. She says, "If you don't have a budget, but you are in a community that is very pet-friendly, you can ask members of your community, such as pet shops, pet groups, the ASPCA, your local Human Society group, if they can host a fundraiser, and then they can sponsor you to acquire the gear."
Some fire departments do not have funds for the equipment and are unable to secure local sponsorship, and in these cases Wag'N Enterprises offers the Wag'N O2 Fellowship Program for financial assistance. Fire, police and EMS departments can apply for the program, and Wag'N Enterprises will raise the funds on behalf of the agency so that they are able to receive the gear free of charge.
For more information about how purchase the pet oxygen mask kit, how to apply for the Wag'N O2 Fellowship or how to donate to the Fellowship Fund to help the fire department of your choice receive the kit, visit the Wag'N O2 Fur Life webpage.
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