Donated oxygen masks will help Linden firefighters rescue pets

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LINDEN, Mich. (WJRT) - (09/13/18) - A nine-year-old Alaskan Malamute demonstrated how recently donated animal oxygen masks can be put to life-saving use for the Linden Fire Department.

"As far as a pet goes, I can't recall when we've had one that we've needed this device, but it's like any tool in our trucks you don't know when you're going to use them and it's nice to have them available in that one rare event that you do have to use them," said Linden Fire Chief Brian Will.

Gina Pickett is a member of the Motown Alaskan Malamute Club, and she owns a Malamute named Keo. When the club had a surplus of funds, she decided she wanted to donate the masks to her hometown fire department.

"We just wanted to promote the working aspect of the breed, continue that on," Pickett said.

At roughly $80 per kit, three masks of different sizes can help any dog or cat, big or small.

"We all know that our pets are our family members," Pickett said. "A lot of your smaller fire departments don't have the pet oxygen mask. They're a smaller version of a human mask."

Chief Will says they only have about two to five structure fires a year, and a donation like this really helps them get something they may not otherwise have the money for.

"There's such a variety of tools that we use annually that you don't think of that you can't always have on your truck. So, you - can only spare your budget so far to buy things you use all the time, but the rare things kind of get set aside unless you have a donation or some money donated as well," Will said.

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