Local business donates pet oxygen masks to West Tenn. fire departments

GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn. — To many West Tennesseans, pets are a member of the family, which is why it would be devastating to lose them in an unfortunate situation like a house fire.

“We love pets,” said Robert Lee, owner of Invisible Fence of West Tennessee.”Cats, dogs, and they are very dear to our heart, and we know, having five dogs and four cats, they’re like our kids.”

Local fire stations across West Tennessee are now able to give pets more of a fighting chance thanks to the generous donation of 18 pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence of West Tennessee.

“We’ve had several instances in house fires to where we’ve had to go in and get pets out, and unfortunately they succumb to the environment,” said Chief Steven Dillard of the Milan Fire Department. “If we would have had something like this, it may have made a difference.”

Fire departments we spoke with Thursday say they’re grateful for the gift of their first pet oxygen mask because they’ve seen first hand what saving a pet can mean to a family.

“We have an employee within our city who actually lost a pet, and I can tell you even to this day, that memory has not left her,” Chief Dillard said.

Chief Bryan Cathey of the Gibson County Fire Department says the kit will be a lot more efficient than giving a pet mouth-to-mouth, which he and his team have done before.

“This will take the place of having to put your mouth and hands around their nose and snoot,” Chief Cathey said.

Lee says these kits are just the beginning of what he calls Project Breathe.

“My hope is that every emergency truck with oxygen in West Tennessee will get one of these,” Lee said. “That’s what my goal is.”

Fire departments can apply for a kit of their own and donations can be made to the project at the Invisible Fence of West Tennessee website.