Seymour Volunteer Fire Department receives donation of pet oxygen masks

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 11:24 PM

The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department got a little more pet-friendly Tuesday, when a partnership between department volunteer Deryn Kellogg and Invisible Fence of the Tennessee Valley netted the group six pet oxygen mask kits.

The kits, which can be used during fires and accidents to provide oxygen to dogs and cats, were available through Invisible Fence's Project Breathe, which seeks to supply masks to help save the lives of four-legged friends across the southeast.

"Deryn was a customer of ours who understood the need, and knew we had this," John Miller, sales and marketing manager for Invisible Fence of the Tennessee Valley, said. "So she offered to buy three masks, and we told her we would gladly match the other three to make sure we've got one mask kit in all six of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Departments."

Kellogg, who's been volunteering for the past year with the department, was having an Invisible Fence installed at her home for her pets when she learned about the program.

"During the process of speaking with them, I mentioned that I volunteered part-time with Seymour Volunteer Fire Deparment," Kellogg said. "They said 'We're trying to get oxygen masks for every fire department in and around East Tennessee.'"

Kellogg loved the idea and asked immediately if she bought a mask if they'd match it. The company said they would.

With the SVFD encompassing six stations, Kellogg decided to buy three. The three donated masks will mean a kit for each station.

"We'll have one for each one of our stations, and for us it's great," John Linsenbigler, executive administrator of the department, said. "Being a volunteer fire department — these kits cost about $75 apiece — it's not something we would go out and buy. Being a nonprofit, volunteer department, we have use our funding a lot more delicately. 

"Our primary (objective) on emergencies is, prevent loss of human life, prevent loss of property and recover as much personal belongings as we can. Pets fall into that category. If we know that they're in there, we try our best to get them out," Linsenbigler continued.

"But when she brought it to our attention, we thought it would be great. Everybody loves their pets."

Linsenbigler said that the stations run many fire calls, and the majority of those homes have pets.

"A lot of them do succumb to the fire, but those that don't, we'll have a device now to be able to help administer oxygen to them and do some resuscitative measures," he said.

"Who doesn't want their pet to be saved?" Kellogg asked. "That's extended family."

That's part of why Invisible Fence got involved with spreading its Project Breathe.

"We like to be a full 360 of dog safety," Miller said. "We're not just the business that will sell you products to keep your dog safe in your house and even outside in your own yard — anything we can do to keep dogs safe, we are more than happy and we love to get our hands on it.

"Just a few weeks we hosted a microchip event to ensure every dog had an ID with them.

"This is just another step we can take to ensure all the pets in our community can be safe and sound.

"What we're doing there, we'll match any and every donation the public does. If you want to donate a dollar, Invisible Fence kicks a dollar towards it. If you want to buy a whole $75 kit — the kit that has three different sizes in it, then we'll donate a kit.

"We're hoping that we have to match enough that we have to cut a big check — then it's worked."

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