Community Rancho Santa Fe

Masks donated to save lives of animals

RANCHO SANTA FE — “Mouth-to-snout” resuscitation has been the only hope for animals suffering smoke inhalation … until now.
On April 19 at Helen Woodward Animal Center, animal respirator kits were donated to a dozen fire rescue crews serving coastal North County. Each of the crews will receive a kit with respirator masks designed to fit small, medium, and large pets.
“We saw a report about a dog in Long Beach that had been trapped in a burning building,” said HWAC spokesman John Van Zante. “The firefighters attached a pet respirator mask to their oxygen tank and administered treatment right there at the fire scene, saving the dog’s life.”
Van Zante said that the news report touched the heart of HWAC Sponsorship Manager Nedra Abramson so much that she investigated whether the masks were being used in San Diego County. “Nedra learned that most of the fire department officials she spoke with had pets at home, but she couldn’t find one single fire crew in the county that had a pet respirator kit.”
HWAC will donate dog respiration masks to fire rescue crews serving Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. Each kit will include three masks manufactured by Pets America allowing firefighters to administer life-saving oxygen.
“Helen Woodward Animal Center is in the business of saving lives,” said HWAC President Mike Arms. Eighty percent of the pets adopted from the center are transferred from shelters and rescue groups that are overcrowded, can’t afford to keep them, or have just run out of time. Providing these kits for the firefighters is an extension of the work that we’re already doing.”
For more information about Helen Woodward Animal Center call (858) 756-4117, visit, or visit the center at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.