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      Project Breathe: Pet oxygen masks come to the rescue

      Project Breathe is a pet oxygen mask donation program put on by Invisible Fence Brand.

      According to their website, there are over 40,000 fire-related pet deaths annually in the U.S. In an attempt to lower this number, Invisible Fence Brand started Project Breathe to provide animal oxygen masks to first responders.

      â??This is an Invisible Fence Brand-wide program thatâ??s been going on since about 2009,â?? said Kyle Miller, owner of Invisible Fence Brand of the U.P. â??And weâ??ve donated over 10,000 oxygen masks nationwide.â??

      About 40 masks are currently in the Upper Peninsula, and seven pet oxygen mask kits were donated to Rampart E.M.S. Thursday. Each kit contains three different sized masks, tubing to connect to an oxygen tank, and a leash. These masks are primarily for canines, but they can be used on other animals as well.

      Rampart E.M.S. officials were unable to treat animals prior to the donation.

      â??If we go to a house fire and after taking care of patients, of course, if there's a dog or a cat or an animal that needs some help, we have the means available now,â?? said Connie Nault, a Rampart E.M.S. paramedic.

      Rampart E.M.S. and Invisible Fence Brand recognize the importance of a familyâ??s pet.

      â??I think it will be a good thing,â?? Nault said. â??A lot of people treat their pets like another human being. It's another member of their family.â??

      Miller expects Project Breathe will be coming to Menominee next.