SIX fire engines in Merseyside now carry pet-friendly oxygen masks thanks to special partnership with national charity Smokey Paws.

Paid for by donations from kind-hearted animal lovers the masks are part of a kit specially tailored for cats, dogs and other small household pets.

The six kits are now being carried on fire engines based at Croxteth, Formby, Toxteth, Birkenhead, St Helens and Huyton Community Fire Stations.

The kits, which cost £90 each, consist of three pet-sized oxygen masks that can be used for a variety of animals and also include oxygen tubes, muzzles and a slip lead in case an animal becomes agitated while being rescued.

They range in size to fit small pets such as hamsters, snakes, dogs and cats and larger animals such as sheep and horses and are designed to fit snuggly around the snout of animals to ensure a better flow of oxygen.

One of the masks was put to good use when a dog was resuscitated following a chip pan fire at a home in St Helens.

The 12-year-old female terrier dog was semi-conscious following the fire and firefighters used a pet oxygen mask to revive the dog and bring her back to consciousness.

She was returned to her owner, who had made her own way out of the property unharmed before fire crews arrived.

Group manager Rob Pritchard said: “As a Service we regularly attend house fires where pets are involved.

"Once animals have been rescued they often, much like humans, require some form of oxygen therapy to assist in their immediate care and recovery.

"Our crews always do the best job they can in these situations – however our equipment hasn't previously been tailored specifically towards household pets.

"These new masks from Smokey Paws are specifically designed to fit the faces of animals and means we can go one step further when it comes to treating pets that have been involved in house fires and which have suffered smoke inhalation. 

“Pets are an enormous part of family, so we are thrilled that we are now starting to see this life-saving equipment rolled out to fire engines across Merseyside.”

Smokey Paws is a not-for-profit organisation that provides animal-friendly first aid masks to fire services across the UK and relies on donations and fundraising from individuals and organisations.

Lynn Carberry, co-founder of Smokey Paws, said: “It is fantastic that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has received six kits and that these are already being used to ensure pets’ lives are saved across Merseyside.

“The masks we provide are specifically shaped to fit animals’ snouts properly when administering oxygen.

"Up until now, many fire services have been using human masks when treating animals which aren’t shaped effectively enough; our pet masks ensure as much oxygen can be administered as possible to the animal or pet in need."

If you would like raise funds and awareness in the Merseyside area, please contact Emma on or call 07340754408.