GEORGETOWN, Texas – Williamson County EMS paramedics will now have pet oxygen masks in their gear, thanks to a donation by the Travis County Kennel Club.
"This is a piece of equipment a lot of first responders don't have," said Ron Henley with the kennel club.
Henley and his golden retriever Toddy met paramedic Judy Splain at the club's annual dog show in 2015, where he learned of the need for the masks.
"I had one that was limp stand up and be alert after getting the full oxygen," said Splain.
The club used money raised from the dog show to give Williamson County EMS 20 pet oxygen masks.
"The masks are tailor made to hit the muzzle, and they seal them, and when you can't get a good seal you're not getting all the oxygen," Splain said.
Each pack has masks that can fit dogs, cats and guinea pigs. Paramedics said a lot of times people travel with their pets so that if they get into a crash, these masks could help save the pet's life on the side of the road.
With the donation, each ambulance and command unit will have the masks. The Travis County Kennel Club will also donate 60 masks to fire departments in Central Texas and to Texas Search and Rescue. Each mask costs around $70.
"Anybody that loves dogs as much as I do, man if someone could save them from smoke inhalation or something, it's important to us," Henley said.