Smokey Paws Update

Animal oxygen mask firm meets dog Bobby who was rescued in Burton By Helen Kreft.

The boss of a firm which donated animal oxygen masks to Burton Fire Station has been thanked by a dog who found himself in need of one. Burton firefighters used one of their new animal oxygen masks donated by Burton-based Animals at Home to calm down West Highland Terrier Bobby who was distressed after finding his paw trapped in a metal garden bench. Bobby and his owner Peter Shorthouse, of James Street, Burton, were later visited by Andrew Kinnard, director of the company, which, by sheer coincidence also provides Bobby with insulin injections for his diabetes. The Burton Mail previously revealed that one crew from Burton Fire Station was called out to rescue Bobby on Friday, February 3, after he became distressed after becoming trapped in the metal garden bench. The crew was called at 11.10am and managed to free Bobby by 11.24am and he did not suffer any injuries.

Peter Shorthouse, with his dog Bobby, also receives an insulin injection service for his pet from Burton-based Animals at Home The crew used a specially adapted animal oxygen mask which had recently been donated to the fire service. Mr Kinnard said: “We are delighted the animal oxygen mask equipment we donated to Burton Fire Station in May 2016 has been used to help in the rescue this trapped West Highland Terrier.” In fact, we are doubly delighted because by sheer coincidence the dog ‘Bobby’ and his owner Mr Shorthouse are our clients. We provide a service to give Bobby insulin injections for his diabetes because Mr Shorthouse feels unable to do so. “When I told Mr Shorthouse that we had donated the equipment that helped Bobby he expressed his deep gratitude to us. The fire crew had explained to him that Bobby needed oxygen to help calm him while he was freed from the garden bench and that standard human oxygen masks were ineffective because they were too big.

“While the main use of the masks is to enable resuscitation of pets affected by smoke in house fires, the use of the mask to help Bobby in this situation emphasises how useful these animal oxygen sets can be in a variety of emergencies involving pets. Animals at Home (National Forest) Ltd was also instrumental in inviting Swadlincote vets, Bright Side Vets, to donate a set of equipment to Swadlincote Fire Station in October 2016. The firm is currently in discussion with the equipment providers, the UK charity Smokey Paws, about donating a second set of equipment to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.

Burton Fire Station was the first in the county to be equipped with the masks in May, last year, before they were rolled out throughout Staffordshire. The specially made masks are the brainchild of Smokey Paws, a national charity which raises money among the public to help equip fire stations. With each kit costing £90, the first has been donated by Animals at Home, which runs pet services, including pet ambulances. The kits will now be located on the engine, so any time they go out to an incident they will be properly-equipped.Previously, human oxygen masks have been used to try to keep pets alive when they get caught up in fires. However dogs only get between 15 and 20 per cent of the oxygen they need from a human masks, whereas with one of the specialist dog masks, they are able to get between 85 and 90 per cent of the oxygen.