More Vets Join Pets Campaign

Whitchurch vet Steve Leonard hands over a pet oxygen mask to Martin Huckle at Whitchurch Fire Station as part of the life saving pets campaign.
Whitchurch vet Steve Leonard hands over a pet oxygen mask to Martin Huckle at Whitchurch Fire Station as part of the life saving pets campaign.


A second Shropshire vets practice has joined the campaign to save the lives of pets in house fires.

Leonard Brothers Veterinary Practice delivered a pet oxygen mask to Whitchurch Fire Station for firefighters to keep aboard their fire appliance among other potentially lifesaving equipment.

It is part of a campaign by the Smokey Paws national charity to have a pet size oxygen mask at every fire station - not just in Shropshire - but across the UK.

The donation by the Whitchurch vets was the 15th mask to be handed over to Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service over the past few weeks by fundraisers.

“The Shropshire public and numerous pet organisations have been extremely generous in ensuring that firefighters in Shropshire will have the use of a pet oxygen mask whenever they get a call out to a fire,” said Martin Huckle, a Watch Manager at Shrewsbury fire HQ.

“It has been an extraordinary campaign with such quick and successful results and at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service we want to thank everyone involved for making this happen."

Since the campaign began in Shropshire in April, the county’s brigade  had been contacted for information by a number of other fire and rescue services around the UK because of a growing public demand for the provision of pet masks.

“We have shared our experiences and documentation with them to assist in expanding the Smokey Paws vision across UK Fire and Rescue Services,” added Martin.

Staff at Leonard Brothers Vets said they joined the campaign as soon as they heard about it.

“The fact that fire appliances do not routinely carry lifesaving, oxygen giving equipment for animals struck all the staff here as an issue we could do something about,” said vet Steve Leonard.

“In donating a mask to Whitchurch Fire Station, we can go some way to help rectify this.

“Smokey Paws is an amazing charity that we at Leonard Brothers Vets hope will be highly successful in ensuring every fire appliance in the country carries this vital equipment for animals.”

Dogs, cats and other small animals including hamsters and pet birds caught up in fires have been revived by firefighters using oxygen masks designed for humans.

But pet sized masks, costing up to £90, are made in three sizes and fit an animal’s snout better than a human oxygen mask to give a better chance of survival, said Brian Lockyear of  Smoky Paws.

Charity efforts in Shropshire have included a walk in Ellesmere by Hectors Greyhounds, donations from Happy Tails Dog Spa in Bridgnorth, Haygate vets and Pets At Home in Wellington. Telford firefighter Louise Fletcher also held a sponsored “dry April.”

4th July, 2016