A £90k fundraising campaign has been launched to provide every fire engine in the UK with pet oxygen masks, which save over 22,000 animals per year in the USA.
Animals only receive 10-15% of the oxygen when using a human mask, compared to a vital 85-90% of oxygen when using a conical shape pet mask. When Lynn and Brian Lockyer from Weston-Super-Mare discovered that the UK Fire and Rescue Service did not carry lifesaving pet oxygen masks, they imported a set of oxygen masks from the USA and donated them to their local fire service.
Word spread of their donation, and more and more people came forward with offers to donate money to buy more pet oxygen masks for their local stations, to give their pets the best chance of survival in a house fire or road traffic accident. This was the start of the non-profit organisation, Smokey Paws, and their mission of equipping every fire engine in the UK with pet oxygen masks.
Smokey Paws has so far donated over 2,000 sets of life-saving pet oxygen masks to UK fire services – in just three years. However, there are still over 900 fire engines across the UK that desperately need these masks in order to save countless animal lives.
By launching a GoFundMe page and a new website, Smokey Paws are now hoping to raise £90k and attract regular donations through their new #PawsForBreath campaign, to fund the purchase of the additional oxygen mask sets required, and help maintain those already in service.
Lynn Carberry, Director of Smokey Paws said, “There are so many people that have helped us that we cannot name everybody, but please remember that your help is never forgotten regardless of how big or small your donation, you are saving pets and animals time and time again.”
Co-Founder Brian Lockyer added, “We have been very fortunate to have been supported by major organisations and many kind people who have raised funds by selling calendars, taking on challenges, running events and much more.”
Sadly, throughout the preparation of the campaign, Lynn and Brian’s Fox Red Labrador, Deefer, who was responsible for the conversation that brought the Smokey Paws organisation to life, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of just 4.
Lynn commented, “It’s very sad and we’re not sure how long Deefer will be with us. He can’t go on long walks with his friends anymore, but he’s fighting it and he enjoys being with his family. I’m just so pleased that his life has made a difference to so many other families with pets, saving many of his furry friends, and probably many more in the future.”