Kids Donate Animal Oxygen Masks

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Photo: Jetty Packages

A group of Medford, Massachusetts fourth graders collected cans and bottles all school-year-long and then presented local firefighters with a life-saving gift of animal oxygen masks.

At five-cents per can, the students raised a total of $145 for the donation, which included masks for big and small dogs and cats. Teacher Kristin Rabbitt says this was part of their citizenship curriculum. The kids read a newspaper article about a similar drive and immediately became enthusiastic.

“We decided on bottles and cans because it was a great way to recycle and raise the money,” Rabbitt said. “We started the first month of school.” The participation was strong — one student even brought in a bag of root beer cans each week. “They were all into it,” Rabbitt said.

Lt. Brian Cronin, Firefighter Larry Hawkins and Firefighter Arthur Moscufo arrived at the Columbus Elementary School gym last week and were greeted by 75 studennts, ready to present the masks. “I was surprised, but not totally shocked,” said Cronin of the donation. “It comes down to the basic love of animals that children have. I’m not sure how many have cats or dogs at home, but they want us to have equipment available to help their pets.”

Moscufo says they have tried to resuscitate animals in the past, but the masks didn’t fit properly. “This is something that is seeing more awareness,” Cronin said of the masks. “People are concerned with the welfare of their animals. I think you’ll see more and more of these types of donations, especially with budgets being what they are.”

After a quick disinfecting, these small masks can be reused — firefighters agree these will be helpful tools. Cronin adds that they haven’t received any formal training for animal rescue; however, the new CPR guidelines will allow them to revive animal via oxygen and also use chest compression techniques.

Rabbitt is looking forward to engaging students in a similar drive next year. “As projects go, the students really enjoyed it,” Rabbitt said. “And we have a lot of pet lovers in our class.” The students excitedly agree. “I like it because I like doing community service and I like helping the environment,” said 10-year-old Ruby Green. “It makes me feel happy that they appreciated it!” she added.

How exactly do pet oxygen masks work? The following Pets America video explains it well.

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