Ind. county humane society donates animal rescue kits to local FDs
The 37 donated animal rescue kits included three sizes of pet oxygen masks, restraints, a blanket, instructions for wound care, pet CPR and rescue breathing
Laura Lane The Herald-Times
Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Firefighters sometimes arrive at a house fire to find the people living there escaped, unharmed.
Sometimes, they discover pets did not make it out alive.
In April, a dog and two cats died from smoke inhalation in a fire at a house in Bloomington’s Park Ridge subdivision. Firefighters used CPR and an oxygen mask to attempt to revive a small greyhound dog found in the smoke-filled home, but city firefighter Tom Figolah said it was too late.
The Monroe County Humane Association wants to help firefighters save the lives of pets at a fire scene or traffic accident. On Tuesday, a yearlong project resulted in 37 animal rescue kits being donated to county fire departments.
The kits will be available on fire trucks in Bloomington, Ellettsville and the surrounding rural townships.
They contain three sizes of pet oxygen masks, restraints for cats and dogs, pet treats, a blanket, instructions for wound care and a guide to pet CPR and rescue breathing.
Humane association development director Kimberly Goy attended a meeting of local fire department and heard how firefighters have seen a shift over time as pets have become full-fledged family members.
“They talked about seeing more people desperately fighting to get back into their burning homes to save their animals,” Goy said Tuesday morning outside Monroe Fire Protection District’s station on Strain Ridge Road. “These kits contain everything they might need at the scene.”
Goy researched what those items would be and set out to find donations. An Indianapolis-based firm called Express911 Board Up supplied sturdy tool boxes for the kits, and Goy and her staff started filling them.
Three reusable oxygen masks — one small enough for a kitten — are inside. There is a can of Fancy Feast whitefish and tuna pate, a pouch of semi-moist dog food and a bag of rawhide bones to lure scared pets to safety.
Firefighters that find animals overcome by smoke inhalation often use human-sized oxygen masks to revive cats and dogs. But having a special kit geared toward pets is a welcome addition to the standard gear on a fire truck.
In a news release, Goy explained the need for the emergency kits. “We hope to avoid animal deaths and serious injuries due to fires and accidents. By giving those first on the scene the tools and knowledge to help animals that might be in distress, it not only helps those animals but also their owners — knowing that their furry family members can receive the correct and needed treatment on the scene.”
Goy credits a collaborative effort by businesses and individuals for making the kits available for free to fire stations. Making donations to help the Monroe County Humane Association fill the kits were the Ellettsville Fire Department, Monroe County Medical Reserve Corps, the county health department, District 8 Emergency Preparedness and Planning Coalition and retired Bloomington firefighter and dog lover Jean Magrane.
©2019 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)