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Image via Facebook/Cen-Tex Kennel Club

The Cen-Tex Kennel Club of Central Texas is raising money to purchase and donate specialty pet oxygen masks to local firefighters.

The kennel club raised $1,500 last month, which is enough for 17 animal oxygen mask kits. These kits include a range of oxygen mask sizes plus an instructional DVD for firefighters.

“We’ve had pet oxygen masks for a few years, but sometimes the nose cups go missing or get broken,” Waco Fire Engineer Philip Burnett tells the Waco Tribune-Herald. “Before then, we would just have to use a human mask and hold it to try to get some oxygen to a pet,”

According to Project Breathe, a donation program for pet oxygen masks set up by the Invisible Fence brand, industry sources estimate that 40,000-150,000 pets die each year in fires, and most deaths are from smoke inhalation. And, “In most states, emergency responders lack the equipment to resuscitate and save pets,” the website states.

So far, the kennel club has donated kits to fire departments in Waco, West, Woodway, Bellmead, Bruceville-Eddy, Lacy Lakeview, Riesel and Robinson. The plan is to donation to additional locations in the future.

The group began raising money after secretary of the club, Jeanie Davis, lost pets in a fire that overtook her home. One of her dogs, Jasmine, was able to survive after receiving oxygen through a mask fit for a humans. But her snout shape limited proper airflow.

“The first responders helped me in the fire and helped Jasmine recover,” Davis tells the outlet. “We hope donating these masks will help make firefighters’ jobs easier and help more pets, like Jasmine, survive.”

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