"Operation Breathe" gives CSFD six pet oxygen kits

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 3:33pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 6:37pm

COLLEGE STATION -- In an emergency, like a house fire, your first reaction is to get yourself and your family out safely but sometimes pets get left behind in the chaos and by the time firefighters get to them it can be too late.

That's where "Operation Breathe" comes in, providing College Station firefighters with new kits that could save your pet's life.

It's estimated that more than 150,000 pets die in fires every year and for a lot of people, it's like losing a family member.

"You can come out of a fire and lose every material that you have but so long as you have your family members and pets alive, you're thankful," said Steve Fincher with Invisible Fence.

That's where "Operation Breathe" comes into play.

It's a program through the company Invisible Fence, equipping College Station firefighters with six new pet oxygen kits, including a small, medium and large mask.

"It will allow us to treat a cat and a dog," said Chief R.B. Alley. "We've had situations where we've had ferrets and even the fellas were telling me about a pig we had to treat one time."

Chief Alley says they're trying to outfit each unit with a kit so no matter what kind of animal you have firefighters can resuscitate them.

And that can mean the difference between life and death.

"We realize how important it is to get oxygen to them as quickly as possible because their survival depends on that whether their brain recovers, it's just like a human," Alley said.

The "Operation Breathe" initiative has already distributed more than 2,000 kits nationwide.

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