NICEVILLE— North Bay Fire Control District will be better equipped to help save pets from house fires after winning a social media contest this week hosted by Petplan pet insurance.
One of five contest winners, North Bay Fire Control District will receive a set of pet-specific WAG’N oxygen masks. The masks are specially designed to fit over little snouts and whiskered faces to deliver a rejuvenating flow of oxygen, helping first responders save the lives of cats, dogs and other small animals caught in fires.
Petplan launched a social media contest that asked fans to comment with the names of their local fire stations to enter them into the running to receive the masks.
"To encourage participation and increase the campaign’s philanthropic impact, Petplan also donated one dollar for every comment to the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, a Philadelphia based organization that provides emergency assistance to animals affected by house fires," a Petplan representative said in a news release.
The randomly chosen winners, including North Bay Fire Control District, were announced in a puppy-packed video featured on Petplan’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
According to the news release, fires are incredibly dangerous for everyone involved, but pets are at particular risk of serious injury. While a person’s first reaction to a fire is to escape the house, animals instinctively respond to danger by looking for a place to hide. That makes it more difficult for first responders to locate them and get them to safety. By the time they’ve been rescued, pets are often suffering from severe smoke inhalation, and many won’t survive without immediate access to oxygen.
“We at Petplan are dedicated to protecting our four-legged friends wherever possible, and we’d love to see every fire station across the country properly equipped to rescue pets,” said Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “Our five winners are just a start, but Chris and I are delighted that we can help them do what they do best: save lives. We thank everyone who participated in this contest — including our puppy presenters!”