Oxygen Masks for Dogs

Kathleen Roberts
Vet tech giving a dog some oxygen

Animal expert Wendy Nan Rees found the story of this little girl's story inspiring. You will, too.

This is a call to all pet lovers and entrepreneurs alike. I met a young lady this week that I have to tell you about. She became an inventor because of her love of dogs and her tenacious passion for finding a way to save a dog's life. I felt it was only right for me to share this wonderful story of hope and dreams. This story only proves that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work hard!

Meet Monica

Monica and she is a ten-year-old fifth grader at Pocahontas Middle School in Powhatan County, Virginia. She came up with the idea of raising money to buy pet oxygen masks for her local fire department after seeing a news story where an oxygen mask was used to save a family's pet after a house fire.

Monica says, "I am an animal lover and care a whole lot about all animals. I want to become a veterinarian when I grow up and open my own clinic. I hope to raise enough money to buy pet oxygen mask kits for each fire station. It would make me so happy to know one of my oxygen masks helped save a pet's life."

How Oxygen Masks for Dogs Can Help

Did you know that during a fire, your family dog will hide for safety out of fear, which will make him or her very vulnerable to smoke. The dog inhales it, and can lead to death in many cases. Now here is what I did not know: our dogs and many other pets cannot take regular oxygen because our human masks are built too large to fit their faces. Clearly, this is something I personally had not thought of. Monica did while listening to the local news, and here is what she found out.

Once a firefighter rescues the animal from the burning building, the animal often needs a lot of oxygen at once. While human oxygen masks do not fit our furry friends, there is a resuscitation mask made especially for animals. The mask kit comes with three sizes of masks so they can be fitted on an animal as small as a rat or as large as a Saint Bernard.

The masks fit snugly around the mouth and nose so it also protects the rescuer from being bitten as the frightened animal starts to revive. Countless animals have already been saved by these mask kits, and the masks can be used again and again after cleaning. Every vet's office has these masks because they use them when they put a dog, or any animal, under anesthesia for surgery.

A Serious Problem

Today, Monica is faced with a real problem. Not only is our country gripped by a financial crisis, but the fact is not all fire stations are equipped with these special masks. With many departments facing budget cuts, these masks are not a priority for them. Ten-year-old Monica from Virginia saw pet oxygen masks used to save someone's dog on the news one night and realized there was a need and she could help. So Monica has now begun to fund raise. Here is what she is doing to help the fire stations.

Monica began locally with her county because the fire department is run exclusively by volunteers. She began by making collection cans and asking local businesses if they would be willing to put her cans out. With the help of her dad, she created a website to spread the word and accept online donations.

Monica also created fliers and hung those up in businesses. She quickly reached the goal for her first four mask kits and immediately knew she wanted to keep working to get these life saving masks into every fire department around the world that needed them.

Make A Difference

I applaud Monica for making a difference for our beloved dogs and saving so many lives. I also love to see and read what the next generation is already doing. Monica is only in fifth grade, but she is an entrepreneur, fundraiser and yes, a dog lover. Bravo Monica! I say "Thank you!" from all dog lovers.

If you would like to help provide oxygen masks for dogs, contact your local fire department. If they need this life saving equipment, they will appreciate your donation.

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Oxygen Masks for Dogs