BEACH LAKE—The Beach Lake Volunteer Fire Company received three sets of pet oxygen masks Monday from Invisible Fence of Northeast PA, a pet protection product company.

Looking to equip local fire and rescue companies with the means to save pets' lives alongside humans, Invisible Fence of Northeast PA established Project Breathe “...with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks,” states a release.

According to Invisible Fence of Northeast PA's website, through Project Breathe, the company has donated over 25,000 pet oxygen masks to first responders in in the United States and Canada.

“These masks allow first responders to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires,” states a release. “The masks often save pets’ lives.”

The company website estimates the oxygen masks have saved the lives of over 200 pets so far.

Beach Lake Volunteer Fire Company received the mask kits at a training/demonstration event Monday night.

Each kit contains a small, medium and large mask, all of which are specially designed to fit and accommodate a pet's snout in a way that breathing masks designed for humans cannot.

“Although the number of pets that die in fires in not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation,” states a release.

Invisible Fence of Northeast PA owner, Shawn Prohaska stated in a release, “When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down. Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”

He further stated, “We realize that humans are the first-priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment. Project Breathe is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”

More information regarding Project Breathe, ways individuals can support it, and how request masks for local fire departments is available online at www.invisiblefence.com/O2.

--Information from a release was used in this story.