Pets are family, and thanks to the Prescott Arizona Kennel Club, the Chino Valley Fire District has something new in its toolbox to help the community's four-legged friends in case of emergency.
Members of the PAKC recently paid a visit to CVFD Station 62 to donate several canine oxygen masks that will help protect and treat local dogs that may be victims of fire.
"This is a real valuable asset for us," said Rob Zazueta, public information officer for the CVFD. "We're often called to emergencies that include animals, and while we're more than equipped to handle emergencies for humans, this is an area that we had a real need."
Zazueta said the human masks are not effective with canine anatomy, and he sees the new masks as a big help to the large local community of dog lovers.
Ginger Bice, PAKC president, said her organization holds various fundraisers throughout the year, the biggest being their annual championship dog show at Old Home Manor.
"We've held this show every year since 1978, and this year it will be on Sept. 14 and 15," said Bice. "We try to keep all of the money we raise through the show and other events right here in our local communities, and one of our members, Sue Spahr, suggested the oxygen masks. We hope to be able to give some to other departments as well."
Zazueta reminds families to include their pets in any emergency preparedness.
"We recommend that families conduct fire and emergency drills on a regular basis, and not forget their four-legged family members in the planning," said Zazuets. "That includes meeting areas, escape routes, and of course supplies in a ready bag, including supplies like food, water, and any medication."
The PAKC is a non-profit organization, established in 1966. Visit www.prescottarizonakennelclub.com for information upcoming events and donation opportunities.