Port Townsend: Resuscitating Rover . . . and cats, too

PORT TOWNSEND — A new life-saving oxygen mask used by Port Townsend firefighters is designed to securely fit onto patients with an extra long nose.

No, the mask isn’t of much use to humans, even those with ample proboscises.

But firefighter/paramedic Patrick Young believes it could be the difference between life and death for man’s best friend.

Three sets of oxygen masks for dogs and cats were recently purchased for the Port Townsend Fire Department by the Jefferson County Animal Services Auxiliary.

In the past, masks made for people have been used on animals, Young said when the masks were presented at the fire station last week.

There aren’t too many structure fires involving animals in Port Townsend, but when there are the masks will come in handy, he said.

Auxiliary members were inspired to donate the masks after seeing the efforts of a California group.

The San Mateo, Calif., Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gave animal oxygen masks to all of the fire departments in their area.

The masks are of hard plastic and shaped like a cup.

On the bottom is a tube that connects to the fire department’s regular oxygen tanks.

A rubber seal around the mouth of the cup keeps the mask airtight against the dog’s or cat’s face.

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