Fire departments and other first responders always have oxygen masks and tanks on hand in case a patient needs a little extra air, but what about oxygen masks for pets? The Cochran Fire Department is trying to raise $800 to purchase 8 animal oxygen mask kits. Claire Davis sat down with the chief and one woman who's trying to raise the money.
For as long as Heather Zaresky can remember, she's always had a love for animals. “I moved to Cochran, or I came to Cochran to visit and the animals around here. It was just an overwhelming need of rescue. There's just too many. So I started picking them up and I couldn't move them fast enough, so we got the building and that was ten years ago,” said Zaresky.
She runs Cochran's Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation and her love for animals didn't stop with finding them homes. “There's been especially with this dry season, a lot of fires, and obviously, a lot of people have pets which are like family, and, you know, they're the first to suffer,” said Zaresky.
She paired up with the Cochran Fire Department and came up with the idea to raise money to buy pet oxygen masks. “Initially, we wanted to raise $300 so that we could get three packs for the fire department and, obviously, if we raise more, we can get packs for other facilities,” said Zaresky.
Cochran Fire Department Chief Kevin Noles says they want to make sure every truck and first responder in the city and county have the tools they need. “A pet is part of the family, just like a person, so why not? Let's help everybody and help their pets, too. If we get in that case where we actually need to resuscitate, this is just another tool for us to use,” said Noles.
Zaresky says she hopes her idea will spread throughout Central Georgia. “Obviously, we rescue dogs from all over, but if we can get it started in Cochran, then maybe we can influence other counties to get these for their fire departments,” said Zaresky.
So far, Zaresky says they've raised $300 out of the $800 for the masks. If you're interested in helping out, you can drop off your donation at the Cochran Fire Department. That's at 134 First Street in downtown Cochran.