Every Breath Counts

by: Jennifer Oldfield

In the city of Regina we have a population of just over 200,000 people.   Even more important to this post is not the number of people but the number of households, specifically those with pets.  In 2011 the census showed Regina having just under 86,000 households.  With a fairly steady growth over the past several years that number is certainly climbing.  Add to that the information that approximately 60% of those households own at least one pet (the majority of which are cats and/or dogs – ~57%), that equals approximately 52,000 homes with a pet.10298890_10152051943690583_1287774173130986653_n

According to Regina Fire & Protective Services (RFPS) there are around 90-100 calls to homes for smoke and/or fire per year.  That makes the chances of your home being one of those calls less than 1%.  That certainly doesn’t seem like a number to cause you much concern, unless you have been one of those home owners.  Then that number is very significant.  Add to that the chances that you own a pet and the concern for safety to all family members is always something we deal with.

Pocket oxygen maskWhen a fire call happens in Regina RFPS are sent out.  They are fully equipped to deal with all aspects of fire rescue and we thank them immensely for their service to our city!  However, there is one area where, although they do the best they can with the equipment they have, even with the aid often from Regina’s EMS, the equipment is lacking.  This is where we feel that “Every Breath Counts”.  Animal oxygen masks are certainly not standard equipment and we are working to change that.

Regina EMS work on a dog rescued from a house fire by RFPS

Regina EMS work on a dog rescued from a house fire by RFPS

A human oxygen mask is designed to cover a human face, it is triangular in shape and fits a human

oxygen masksperfectly.  Although it has worked to save animals rescued from fires in the past, the ideal situation is to have the appropriate mask to fully cover the animal’s face to increase the amount of oxygen received thus increasing the chance of resuscitation.

Over the past several weeks I have been in contact with RFPS regarding our goal to equip the trucks with the animal mask sets.  I have met with their Operations Management Team and with their Senior Team and we have the thumbs up!

How are we planning to do this?  With the aid of the citizens of Regina in a Fundraising Event we have lovingly named “Every Breath Counts”.   On September 21st, 2014 from 10am-3pm we are hosting this event.  It will take place at our clinic at 216 McIntyre Street.  We have plans for the following:

  • Pet First Aid Seminar
  • Be-a-Tree Bite Prevention Presentation for Kids
  • Teddy Bear Hospital – where children can bring their bears for our veterinarians to take care of
  • Fishing Pond Game – for a small fee, children can play an educational round and win prizes
  • Face Painting
  • Hot Dog Sale
  • Specially designed bandanas for sale
  • Special items to purchase for cats and dogs
  • SOS Fire Safety Window Clings for sale
  • The Pack Project will be attending
  • Members of Regina’s Police Service (possibly the K-9 Unit, if they can get away from training)
  • Bright Eyes Dog Rescue will be attending
  • RFPS with a Fire Truck and hopefully a visit from Sparky the fire dog

All proceeds will be going directly to the fund, PLUS ANVC will be specifically aiding in the purchase as well. One set of masks costs $150, for every set funds are raised for, ANVC will match it with a second set (up to 6 sets).  Our goal is to raise enough funds to purchase 12 sets – enough to equip RFPS and have some replacement sets available as needed.

fundraising goal

We will be accepting donations in clinic leading up to our event, but we really hope to feel your support on September 21st.  Mark it on your calendars!  Watch our Facebook page and our website for updates on times of seminars, presentations, as well as added details as they are finalized.

Fundraising image

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