Smokey Paws launch £90k fundraising campaign to equip every UK fire service with life-saving pet oxygen masks
Smokey Paws are hoping to raise £90k to provide every fire engine in the UK with pet oxygen masks, which save over 22,000 animals per year in the USA.
So far, in just 3 years, not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws has donated over 2,000 sets of masks to UK fire services, helping to save countless lives, but there are still over 900 fire engines across the country that desperately need a set of masks.
#PawsForBreath Campaign aims to raise £90k
By launching a GoFundMe page and a new website, Smokey Paws are now hoping to raise £90k and attract regular donations through their new #PawsForBreath campaign, to fund the purchase of the additional oxygen mask sets required, and help maintain those already in service.
The masks can be used on a wide variety of animals, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, puppies, kittens, sheep, ponies and hamsters.
As the masks can be reused, they will continue to save pets and animals for years to come.
Lynn Carberry, Director of Smokey Paws said: “There are so many people that have helped us that we cannot name everybody, but please remember that your help is never forgotten regardless of how big or small your donation, you are saving pets and animals time and time again.”
Co-Founder Brian Lockyer added: “We have been very fortunate to have been supported by major organisations and many kind people who have raised funds by selling calendars, taking on challenges, running events and much more.“
Why don’t human oxygen masks work on dogs and other animals?
Masks designed for humans are not the correct shape, and the animal masks have a conical shape to fit over the snout. When using a mask designed for a human, animals receive about 10-15% of the oxygen, whereas the animal masks give the animal 85-90% oxygen, so they are much more effective.
Where did the idea for Smokey Paws come from?
When Lynn and Brian Lockyer from Weston-Super-Mare discovered that the UK Fire and Rescue Service did not carry lifesaving pet oxygen masks, they imported a set of oxygen masks from the USA and donated them to their local fire service.
As word spread of their donation, more and more people came forward with offers to donate money to buy more pet oxygen masks for their local stations, to give their pets the best chance of survival in a house fire or road traffic accident. This was the start of Smokey Paws and their mission of equipping every fire engine in the UK with pet oxygen masks.
Lynn commented: “It’s not something people think about much, but with your pet often indoors with no way to get out, they can sadly be victims of some of the 42,000 house fires in the UK every year”.
Brian added: “It is thanks to the first responders that animals are given the best chance of survival, but they must have the right equipment to be able to give animals that second chance. It is a fact that Pet Oxygen Masks save animals and pets. The mission of Smokey Paws is to get a set of Pet Oxygen Masks on every fire appliance in the UK with the help of you, the sponsors, donators and followers.”
The inspiration and sadness behind Smokey Paws
Sadly, throughout the preparation of the #PawsForBreath campaign, Lynn and Brian’s Fox Red Labrador, Deefer, who was responsible for the conversation that brought the Smokey Paws organisation to life when he was a pup, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of just 4.
Lynn commented “It’s very sad and we’re not sure how long Deefer will be with us. He can’t go on long walks with his friends anymore, but he’s fighting it and he enjoys being with his family. I’m just so pleased that his life has made a difference to so many other families with pets, saving many of his furry friends, and probably many more in the future.”
More About Smokey Paws
Smokey Paws is a not-for-profit organisation run by Lynn and Brian Lockyer, supported by volunteers and major charities and organisations such as Pets At Home and the National Pet Show. In 2016, the Directors of Smokey Paws were presented by the RSPCA with the William Wilberforce Award for furthering the link between Human and Animal Welfare.
How to donate
Website – https://www.smokeypaws.co.uk/donate/
To contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07824 610539.
To donate, please go to www.smokeypaws.co.uk or the GoFundMe page.
Campaign video: https://vimeo.com/328162158/
Images: download here