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Firefighters get oxygen masks for pets
Donation from Kennel Club provides rescue gear
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Fido can breathe easier now.

Hall and Gainesville firefighters have a new tool for helping resuscitate man's best friend in the event a house fire clogs a pet's lungs with smoke.

The Cumming-based Sawnee Mountain Kennel Club donated pet-sized oxygen recovery masks to Hall County and Gainesville's fire departments, allowing rescue workers to better treat smoke-stricken pets after a fire.

In the past, paramedics have used oxygen masks designed for humans to treat pets that were saved from a fire. They didn't always fit so well, said Hall County Capt. Tim Peebles. "It would work, but a lot of the oxygen would escape through the sides," Peebles said.

The three sizes of masks donated by the kennel club, designed to fit over snouts instead of human faces, fit everything from ferrets to cats to large dogs, Peebles said.

The 17 sets donated are enough to go on every medical unit ambulance at every station.

The Sawnee Mountain Kennel Club has donated oxygen masks to fire departments in Forsyth, Habersham, White, Dawson and Lumpkin Counties, and also gave out vests for police dogs in the region.