Smokey Paws - Revolutionising the way our pets are treated for smoke inhalation

If you're a pet owner, we're pretty sure your pet is firmly at the top of your list if you've ever been asked the question "in an event of a house fire, what would you rescue?" Latest Government statistics (2013-2014) show Fire & Rescue services attended 212,500 fires across Great Britain.  

Given we're a nation of animal lovers, sadly in many of these fires, pets are often affected. The way smoke inhalation is treated means the difference between life and death, yet for many pets in the UK, they're unable to receive the level of treatment a human can expect. This is due to them being treated with human masks which are obviously not designed for pets and are therefore often unable to deliver sufficient oxygen.  

Until now!! Let us introduce you to a relatively new charity called Smokey Paws who are revolutionising how our pets are treated for smoke inhalation in the UK. We had the pleasure of speaking with them recently so let us share their story with you...

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WHO ARE SMOKEY PAWS?

Smokey Paws was set up last Summer by husband and wife team Lynn and Brian. As an American, Lynn was shocked to discover the UK don't provide fire services with pet oxygen masks; something which is a regular occurrence in the US and has been proven to save lives. Knowing how important pets are to people, Lynn and Brian decided to take it upon themselves to see if they could provide a solution here in the UK.  

After attending a Firefighters Convention in July and seeing the level of support from many of the fire services, Smokey Paws was born! Soon after in August and thanks to fundraising efforts, their very first pet oxygen mask in the UK was provided to a fire station in Avon & Somerset. Goes to show if you put your mind to something, anything can happen!

 

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WHY CAN'T HUMAN OXYGEN MASKS BE USED?

Human and animal facial features differ significantly and when an oxygen mask is placed on a face, it should tightly cover the nose and mouth to ensure maximum levels of oxygen are received. With human masks, pets only receive 20% oxygen but incredibly with the pet oxygen masks, your pet can expect to receive 95% oxygen. The margin is huge and can make all the difference between whether your animal survives or not.

Incredibly there are 3 sizes of masks available which means the fire service is able to cater to the needs of any pet rescued from a fire: 

Small: Ideal for guinea pigs, snakes and hamsters

Medium: Ideal for small dogs and cats

Large: Ideal for large dogs

 

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DO ALL FIRE SERVICES CARRY PET OXYGEN MASKS?

Currently no, and this is what Smokey Paws are working hard to raise funds for! They would love to see pet oxygen masks rolled out across the UK and given the staggering statistics above, we agree.

Incredibly in such a short space of time, Smokey Paws have managed to raise enough funds to provide over 60 sets across the UK already, ranging from Avon & Somerset, Cambridgeshire and Kent to name but a few.

In fact one of the pet oxygen masks provided in Kent has already saved a dog from a fire over the Christmas period! You can read their story HERE. There are still many parts of the UK without this life saving equipment though and that's where we all come in!

  

DOES YOUR LOCAL FIRE STATION HAVE A PET OXYGEN MASK ?

A pet oxygen mask costs £99.00 and as Smokey Paws is a non-profit organisation, they rely on fundraising efforts from all of us to help them roll out the masks across the UK. Take a quick visit to their website to see if your local fire station has one. If not you can even nominate a station yourself, as well as seeing others which have already been nominated, but still require sufficient funding. We would certainly like to see pet oxygen masks at our local fire station. So why not gather some of your friends together over the next few months and try to raise some funds to ensure your local fire station will be able to help your pet, should the worst happen.

A huge Thank You to Lynn for speaking with us and explaining their vision for Smokey Paws. It is a completely inspiring story and no doubt many other pets across the UK will benefit from the life saving oxygen therapy provided by their masks. For more like this visit TWILIGHT BARK 

Tel: 0203 195 3892  or 07340 754408 (24hrs) • info@smokeypaws.co.uk

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