By Tereasa Nims
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Several volunteers from Allen Park Animal Welfare, a local group aiding animals, presented Deputy Fire Chief Ed Cann with 25 oxygen masks for animals.
The masks, valued at $500, can aid animals in a range from small cats or dogs to larger animals.
“We are able to put one on each of our trucks,” Cann said of the masks, which came five to a packet.
Each year APAW, an Allen Park High School group, chooses a cause and then raises money for that charity, Cann said. The group is led by science teacher Deborah Chandonnet.
“Our fire department tends to have more animal victims than human victims,” Cann said. “Dogs and cats stay in the house when humans leave for work or school.”
Cann said because animals’ faces are different, human masks don’t work as well on them as ones designed especially for them.
“These are more efficient and will help save lives,” Cann said.
Resident Roberta Wade said such a mask helped save her dog, Tobias. She said Tobias was in an apartment when it caught fire years ago when she was living in San Antonio.
“The firefighters brought him out of the house and he looked dead,” Wade said. “They immediately put an oxygen mask on him and he laid there on the ground, then he seemed to bounce right back to life.”
Grateful for the donation, Cann said it was also “refreshing” to see the generosity of APAW. He said it shows their leadership, stepping up and putting others before themselves, “which I think that’s what life is all about,” Cann said.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)