In emergency, Fido to get 'miracle' in West Mifflin
Joe and Rita Haas thought their four Persian cats would succumb to smoke inhalation when their Westmoreland County home caught fire last February.
A pet oxygen mask kit donated to the Bradenville Fire Department helped revive them.
“It was a miracle,” said Rita Haas. “They wouldn't have survived.”
Firefighters at Skyview Volunteer Fire Co. West Mifflin 4 received a similar gift on Thursday.
“A lot of people have pets, and when you go in and find one of them, it's hard,” said Skyview Capt. Jeffrey Youkers. “We've seen residents run back into burning homes to save a pet. It's understandable, but extremely dangerous.”
The masks, donated by Invisible Fence of Western Pennsylvania, could save some pets' life, he said.
“These masks are truly a blessing for West Mifflin,” Youkers said.
Most pets in fires succumb to smoke inhalation, usually in less than 20 minutes, experts said.
Invisible Fence Brand formed Project Breathe with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks for use on animals suffering from smoke inhalation. The kits cost about $60 each and include three masks of different sizes, the company said.
Invisible Fence has donated 348 pet oxygen mask kits in Pennsylvania and more than 10,000 across the U.S. and Canada. The masks have saved more than 80 pets, including the Haas' four cats, said the company, which makes products that keep pets confined to yards and homes.
The number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, but industry websites and other sources put the number at as many as 150,000 annually.
“When we realized there wasn't a track of how many (pets) were lost, and we're in the business of keeping pets safe, we thought this was a good fit,” said Christina Szmurlo, outreach manager at Invisible Fence.
Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police stop car in Beltzhoover, find body in back seat
- Medical examiner identifies man in Pleasant Hills police standoff as Justin Hay
- Federal grand jury indicts man for violating poultry law while operating illegal slaughterhouse in his Jefferson Hills home
- Pa. police departments worry order on criminal seizures hurts bottom line
- New Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan institutes Wolf’s gift ban at commission
- Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M
- Woman, 77, dies in Monroeville house fire
- Veterans Affairs settles another Pittsburgh-area Legionnaire’s lawsuit
- Pipelines key to growth in shale industry
- FTC chief Brill calls on companies to protect privacy online
- Fitzgerald nominates mining industry businessman for Finance and Development Commission