Couple launch appeal to equip fire engines with pet oxygen masks

A couple from Weston have launched a campaign to equip all fire engines with pet oxygen masks.

A couple from Weston have launched a campaign to equip all fire engines with pet oxygen masks. - Credit: Archant

A Weston-super-Mare couple has launched an appeal to raise £90,000 to equip all fire engines with pet oxygen masks.

Lynn and Brian Lockyer have donated 2,000 sets of masks to fire services across the country over the past three years but there are still 900 fire engines desperately in need of the equipment.

The pet oxygen masks save the lives of more than 22,000 animals each year in the USA and the Lockyers set up Smokey Paws – a not-for-profit organisation – to ensure every fire engine in the country has the equipment.

The masks can be used on a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, sheep, ponies and hamsters to prevent them from dying of smoke inhalation.

Lynn, director of Smokey Paws said: “There are so many people that have helped us that we cannot name everybody, but please remember that your help is never forgotten regardless of how big or small your donation, you are saving pets and animals time and time again.”

Masks designed for humans are not the correct shape for animals who are only able to receive 10-15 per cent of the oxygen.

The animal masks have a conical shape to fit over the snout, giving pets 85-90 per cent of oxygen so they are much more effective.

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When Lynn and Brian Lockyer discovered fire engines did not carry lifesaving pet oxygen masks, they imported a set from the USA and donated them to their local fire service.

As word spread of their donation, people came forward to donate oxygen masks to give their pets the best chance of survival in a house fire or road traffic accident.

Smokey Paws is now on a mission to equip every fire engine in the country with pet oxygen masks.

Lynn said: “It’s not something people think about much, but with your pet often indoors with no way to get out, they can sadly be victims of some of the 42,000 house fires in the UK every year.”

Brian added: “It is thanks to the first responders that animals are given the best chance of survival, but they must have the right equipment to be able to give animals that second chance.”

Lynn and Brian have set up a GoFundMe page so people can donate to the #PawsForBreath campaign by clicking here.

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