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Maryland firefighters create fund to help dogs injured in fires

The Prince George County Fire and EMS has created a fund to ensure that animals injured in a house fire are able to receive followup treatment even if their families cannot afford it.
The Prince George County Fire and EMS has created a fund to ensure that animals injured in a house fire are able to receive followup treatment even if their families cannot afford it.
Mark E. Brady. PGFD PIO

Sometimes good things happen when caring people vow to make sure that something bad doesn't happen again. This is what happened in Prince George County, Maryland when a small brown chihuahua and his friend were found near death after a house fire and were resuscitated using donated oxygen masks, only to have one of the dogs die a few days later because his owners couldn't afford vet care, according to an article published today on the Prince George County Fire and EMS blog.

Otis, the 2-year-old chihuahua shown in this photo, died despite being resuscitated after a house fire.  The fire department has established a fund to ensure this does not happen again
Mark E. Brady. PGFD PIO

The story is a sad one. Back in October, firefighters were called to a house fire in Bowie, Maryland. Two small chihuahua's were found lifeless in the ruins of the home. Fortunately, the Prince George County Fire and EMS had access to a set of oxygen masks specifically designed to resuscitate small animals. The masks had been donated earlier to the department so that they would be available in cases like this.

Firefighters were able to resuscitate the two dogs, Mylo and Otis, and handed them back over to their owner, advising the owner to get them checked out by a vet asap. Unfortunately the owner did not have the financial resources to do this, and soon Otis began to get sicker.

The firefighters became aware of the situation as they continued to investigate the fire. (An arson arrest was made in the case.) They began to work to try and get vet care for Mylo but by the time it was arranged it was too late.

The department was determined to make sure this didn't happen again, and with the support of the Prince George's County Animal Management, they worked with the Anne Arundel County SPCA to set up a fund to handle this kind of situation in the future.

The "PGFD and SPCA Sparky Fire Fund" was set up to ensure that a pet dealing with smoke inhalation or other injuries from a house fire get the necessary treatment regardless of whether the owners can pay for it or not. Families are directed specific 24-hour emergency vet clinics and the pets will receive the needed care, while the fund covers the costs of the vet care.

The Department depends on continued community support to fund this ongoing project. For more information, please see their blog or Facebook page.