Virginia Beach, Va. - The Virginia Beach Rescue Squad is now equipped to respond to pets in emergency situations.
"While people will always come first, we recognize our pets are very dear to us," says Ellen McBride, proud member of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad at Station 14.
On Saturday, August 3, The Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, Station 14 held a ceremony to announce that all of its emergency vehicles will now feature pet oxygen masks - thanks to a donation from the Invisible Fence Brand of Hampton Roads.
An estimated 40,000 – 150,000 pets die each year in fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Invisible Fence Brand, through its Project Breathe initiative, has donated more than 2,000 pet oxygen kits to first responders throughout the country with the goal of reducing that statistic, city officials say.
"So we know this is going to be an excellent thing for the community because on each and every one of these ambulances that serve the area, there's going to be a pet oxygen mask. So not only will the rescue squad be there for the people, but they will be there for their pets," says Wayne Gilbert, Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center.
The Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad now has ten kits - enough to outfit all of their emergency vehicles.
Each kit includes a small, medium, and large mask, all specially designed to fit a dog or cat’s muzzle and effectively deliver oxygen.
Volunteers demonstrated how the pet masks would work:
Animal Control and Animal Care and Adoption Members were on site, with rescued dogs and cats who are ready to find a new and loving home. Check them out: