Pet owners solicit donations for oxygen masks

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112248355321871.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ‘Winnebago County Board member Mary Ann Aiello (R-90) uses her cat "Smokey" to demonstrate how pet oxygen masks are used by firefighters.’);

Pet enthusiasts need your help in purchasing 115 sets of oxygen masks designed to assist animals in surviving fires.

Winnebago County Board member and cat owner Mary Ann Aiello (R-9) said she is hoping to raise $6,500 in private donations to buy the masks, which will be used by fire departments throughout Winnebago and Boone counties.

According to Aiello, if firefighters currently want to assist a pet in a smoke-filled room, they have to share their respirator mask with the pet. The new masks will eliminate that hazard, and may also be used to help resuscitate affected pets.

The masks are available in three sizes, small, medium and large, and are made primarily to save cats and dogs. As of July 21, Aiello said they had raised $955 for the masks.

Aiello said she was inspired to implement the campaign after reading a recent article on pet oxygen masks in the Chicago Tribune.

To contribute to the fund, make checks payable to Breath of Life Pet Recovery Fund, and mail to: National City Bank, 120 W. State St., Rockford, IL 61101.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Aiello at (815) 877-6833.

From the July 27-Aug. 2, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!