City workers collect donations to save pets’ lives
Each year in the United States an estimated half a million pets are affected by fires. More than 40,000 of our family pets die from smoke inhalation alone and losing a pet due to a house fire can be a devastating experience.
Two Darlington city workers decided to do something about it, at least in their corner of the state.
After seeing a TV report of Horry County couple John Mazur and his wife donating FIDO bags to Myrtle Beach Fire Department, city planner Lisa Bailey said she was inspired to get the City Fire Department this life-saving equipment too.
Just a week earlier, Bailey had watched firefighters struggle to resuscitate a property owners’ pet dog and cat during a house fire, so she started a Go Fund Me page to raise the money to purchase a FIDO Bag for each first-out vehicle.
Within less than 24 hours, she had the funds to purchase the sets needed.
“I am extremely grateful for those who shared the page and supported it through donations for this to happen so quickly,” Bailey says. “I hope that the Mazurs hear about this and see how God has multiplied their generosity.”
Bailey purchased the FIDO Bags from The Fetch Foundation. The nonprofit 501(c)3 organization aims to put a FIDO Bag on every fire truck in the country and to provide rescued dogs with an opportunity to be heroes as therapy, search-and-rescue, or service animals.
“In cases such as fire or automobile accidents, firefighters need special tools on their vehicles to save your best four-legged friend’s life just as they do you,” says Marie Peck, founder of The Fetch Foundation. “Pets are family too, and now we are able to save their lives in an emergency.”
Lifelong firefighter Lt. Brandon Wilson of the Darlington Fire Department has seen his share of pets hurt or killed in house fires. He also serves as the Fire Chief in Cash, volunteers with Society Hill Fire Department and serves as a firefighter at Sardis-Timmonsville Fire Department.
Wilson met with Nena Sinclair and Mary Ellen Tobias of the Pet Oxygen Kit Project and received multiple kits for the various departments he serves, including the City of Darlington.
The founders of Pet Oxygen Kit Project Inc. made it their mission to supply and equip every fire truck in all 46 counties in South Carolina with theses kits. That story began with a TV program too. Nena Sinclair and Mary Ellen Tobias watched four firefighters save a cat on June 26, 2014, when a local NBC affiliate aired a story of a house fire in Columbia.
“With these donations and associated training, I’m confident our staff has the tools to give our community and its pets the best chance of survival in these emergencies,” says Chief Pat Cavanaugh.
Both the FIDO Bags and Pet Oxygen Kits include pet oxygen masks, leads, gloves, collapsible water bowl, and other useful items on a chaotic fire scene. For more information about these two organizations, visit https://thefetchfoundation.com and http://petoxygenkit.com/.