Pet oxygen masks donated to Denver sheriff’s K-9 unit might save dogs’ lives

DENVER — The Denver Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit recently benefited from the donation of equipment that will help save the lives of canine partners when they encounter hazardous materials while on the job.

Invisible Fence Brand donated six pet oxygen mask kits to the department as a part of the company’s “Project Breathe” project.

Donated masks allow firefighters, EMS staff or law enforcement departments to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke or chemical inhalation.

Denver joins Seattle, Chicago and Salt Lake City that have received donated pet oxygen masks from the Project Breathe program.

“We’re excited for our new partnership with the Invisible Fence Brand and grateful for the donation,” Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman said. “The pet oxygen masks adds another layer of safety for our canine teams.”

The company has donated more than 18,700 pet oxygen masks to fire stations across the U.S. and Canada.

Invisible Fence claims nearly 200 pets have been saved by the donated masks.

Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry websites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 do so each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation.

In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The company has set up a website where local fire and EMS personnel can make a request for their departments.