Boy’s Donated Pet Oxygen Mask Saves Cat

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Millville Rescue Squad EMT Jeremy Plauché uses a pet oxygen mask on the cat.


A cat in Millville, NJ is alive and well today thanks to a 9 year old boy’s successful campaign last fall to raise money and provide pet oxygen masks to local firefighters and EMTs.

Shawn Ronan took it upon himself to solicit donations to purchase pet oxygen masks and, with community support, donated 24 lifesaving kits to local emergency responders.

Last Monday, Shawn received the gratifying news that one of his donated masks saved a local cat suffering from smoke inhalation after his home caught fire.

Two cats were rescued from the burning home in Millville the previous night, with the Millville Fire department and Millville Rescue Squad in attendance at the scene.  Both cats were treated with oxygen, but only one survived.

Laurel Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company Chief Shawn Ronan, Shawn’s father, was on hand at the fire and saw the rescue kit in use.   It was too late to tell Shawn that night, so his Dad shared the good news with him on Monday morning, January 20.

The younger Shawn was inspired to raise money for the rescue kits last October after seeing a video online of a cat being resuscitated by a firefighter.  His initial goal was to buy Wag’N O2 Fur Life pet oxygen masks for a few local fire stations, but with the success of his campaign, he was able to furnish 24 kits to area emergency responders, along with free training on their use from a veterinarian.

The fire at the home of Milo and Natasha Hannah was caused by a malfunction with a gas grill. The Hannahs got out of the house as flames and smoke spread, but their cats remained inside until firefighters found them in a bedroom and carried them outside.

Millville Rescue Squad EMT Jeremy Plauché provided on site care to the cats, but told The Daily Journal he hadn’t participated in the pet rescue training and relied on his human lifesaving skills, which he applied to the cats.

Bug came around as she received the oxygen, becoming noticeably more responsive, but the Hannahs older cat, Peanut, did not survive.

Mr. Hannah praised the rescuers for arriving in time to save half of his house and doing more than expected in their efforts for his cats. He also gave his thanks to the boy whose donation saved Bug. He said: “I’m sure if I could talk to Bug, she would say she appreciated it.”

Read the full story in the Daily Journal.




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