A family who lost precious pets during a fire last year are backing calls for fire engines in Lincolnshire to be the first to carry oxygen masks specifically designed for pets.
Sharon Butcher, whose family lost many of their more than 30 pets during the fire last June, said getting appliances to carry the masks was ‘a good idea’.
She said: “They should be used, at house fires a lot of people do have pets and there are a lot more pets that die because their lungs are much smaller.”
Some of the animals at the Butcher’s fire were given oxygen, and several pets did develop chest infections as a result of breathing in smoke.
Mrs Butcher accepted that it depended on the space available in appliances and that human lives took priority but said ‘if it can help animals it’s got to be good’.
Human oxygen masks are already used by pets but the poor fit means animals breathe in only ten-15 per cent of the available oxygen - while the specialist masks boost that to more than 90 per cent.
The campaign to get appliances equipped in Lincolnshire is being led by animal lovers Paul Frith-Anderson and Linda Cooper, of Little Acorns Spiritualist Centre, in Spalding.
They are taking on the national campaign by not for profit company Smokey Paws, which aims to role out the masks to first responders across the UK.
Each set of three masks (small, medium and large) costs £90 and funds have to be donated before the kits can go out.
Paul and Linda want to supply the kits to fire stations in Spalding, Holbeach, Donington, Crowland and Market Deeping.
They have already raised nearly £400 and have planned a fancy dress party at their base in Moose Hall on December 17. To support them call 07766 664386 or email Willowfirstname.lastname@example.org. For more information you can also visit www.smokeypaws.co.uk