Portage veterinarian donates breathing mask kits for pets

2013-09-16T20:00:00Z 2013-09-16T20:48:11Z Portage veterinarian donates breathing mask kits for petsJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Pets rescued from house fires will have a better chance for survival here thanks to a local veterinarian.

Lucia Lemmer, owner of Portage Animal Clinic, recently donated three Wag 'N O2 Fur Life pet oxygen mask kits to the Portage Fire Department. One kit will be placed on each of the department's three ambulances.

"There are so many household here that have pets," Lemmer said. She donated the kits after being contacted by Assistant Chief Dan Kodicek. Her clinic is also providing personnel in the coming weeks to give firefighters training in pet CPR.

Kodicek said he was contacted through social media about the availability of the kits and thought they would be a good addition to the department. He then contacted Lemmer, who agreed to donate the kits and provide training. The kits cost $75 each.

Each kit contains three sizes of breathing masks to fit a variety of pets, including cats and dogs. The masks can be connected to oxygen tanks in case a pet suffers from smoke inhalation as a result of a fire. The masks can also be attached to a device that would allow firefighters to help resuscitate unconscious pets.

"We've had multiple incidents with dogs and cats involved in fires," said Kodicek. "Pets are just like people's children nowadays."

Kodicek said incidents such as fires can be very stressful to pets, even if they aren't suffering from smoke inhalation. The masks can be used to assist in those incidents also.

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