Pets on the Isle of Sheppey now stand a greater chance of surviving the terrifying effects of a house fire, thanks to a generous donation from the Sheppey Round Table.
The money has enabled the not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, to provide four pet-friendly oxygen masks for Sheppey, Eastchurch and Sittingbourne fire stations.
Sheppey Crew Manager, Jim Ashby, said: "Pets are a hugely important part of the family and we know from experience that people frequently go back into burning buildings to search for their much-loved pets, often putting themselves and their animals in even greater danger.
"If you discover a fire in your home, the best thing you can do is leave your home and call us. Don’t go back inside to try to rescue your pets, leave that to us, it’s what we’re trained to do and with the addition of these purpose-designed oxygen masks, your pets now have an even greater chance of surviving."
Matthew Bromley from the Sheppey Round Table explained why they decided to get involved: "I used to be a firefighter so have seen first-hand what can happen and some of the risks people take to save their pets, which is why we decided to support this worthwhile project."
Smokey Paws was set up by Brian and Lynn Carberry, who fundraise to buy the pet oxygen masks, which come in three sizes to fit on small pets like hamsters up to large dogs and cost £90 a set. They are aiming to provide a set of masks for all of KFRS’s fire stations around the county.
"Anyone can donate via our website or give us a call on 0203 195 3892. Every penny counts towards helping to save the lives of cats, dogs and other pets caught in house fires." said: Lynn Carberry.
Jim ended: "We’re very grateful that the Round Table has chosen to fund these masks, hopefully they will help spare families a little less heartache after a fire."
Notes to editors:
It is estimated that 12m (46% of) households have pets in the UK with the pet population now standing at around 58 million
Photographers and journalists are welcome to attend the handover event at Sheppey fire station, High Street, Sheerness, ME12 1UN on Saturday, 14 May at 10.30am. Please confirm your attendance with the KFRS Press Office on 01622 212425.