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Helping firefighters save pets from tragedy

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Helping firefighters save pets from tragedy

Firefighter Ted Jackman with rescued cat, photo courtesy of the Peterborough Examiner.

Chicago, Ill. – (May 19, 2010) – A fire is a traumatic experience. It can result in the loss of a home, a life or even a pet. And unfortunately, not all fire stations are equipped to save an animal’s life after it’s been rescued from a fire. Even if the animal is rescued, oxygen is often needed because the pet may still be in danger from smoke inhalation.

A new effort, called Project Breathe™, is underway to equip every fire station in America and Canada with the equipment to give pets life-saving oxygen if they are rescued from a fire. Invisible Fence Brand has been quietly equipping stations for over three years. But today, with a donation of more than 235 masks for every fire apparatus and rescue unit in the City of Chicago, the company is taking the effort nationwide and to Canada and calling on others to help.

“The trauma of a fire is devastating enough,” said Invisible Fence President and CEO Randy Boyd, “but the loss of a pet…a member of the family…makes it even worse. We realize that humans are the first-priority, but in many cases the pets can be saved if firefighters simply have the right equipment.”

Although the number of pets that die in fires in not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The loss is terrible for the family, heart wrenching for firefighters.

“We’re hopeful citizens in the City of Chicago are comforted knowing that we have the tools necessary to help save their pet. We all-too-often see people who want to risk their own life running back into a burning home to get their pet,” said Chicago First Deputy Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff. “We can all recall a fire from the past when these kits would have helped save a pet.”

With Chicago joining the ranks of Cleveland, Memphis, Toronto and dozens of smaller cities, Invisible Fence Brand has now donated more than 5,000 pet oxygen masks.

 “But that’s just a fraction of what we need to equip everyone,” said Boyd. “Frankly, we can’t do it alone…so we are calling on others to help.”

To date, a reported 19 pets have been saved by fire departments equipped with the donated kits.

The company has set up a website, www.invisiblefence.com/O2, where people or companies can support the effort.

“We also partner with other groups, such as veterinary associations, to help equip some cities,” said Boyd.

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Invisible Fence® Brand pet containment systems are produced by Invisible Technologies, Inc. and have a 99.5% success rating, according to Invisible Fence Brand. For more information, visit www.invisiblefence.com.

Media Contact:
Mike Cohen
(865) 584-0550
mcohen@ackermannpr.com

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