"The Pet's Life Saved May Be Your Own"
Giving breath of life
Woman works to provide fire departments with masks that fit over snouts
By Dave Munday
The Post and Courier
Monday, November 23, 2009
"It would be sad enough to lose a home to a fire; to lose a pet would be unbearable."
Photo by Grace Beahm
Fincannon raised $1,500, and Invisible Fence of Coastal Carolinas matched it. Invisible Fence, which sells systems to keep pets safe, will continue to match donations up to $3,000, Lisa Swayne Proud, the company's donation coordinator, said.
Fincannon said she's thrilled with the response so far.
"My long-range goal is for every firetruck in America to have oxygen masks for pets," she said.
Few, if any, fire departments use tax money to buy oxygen masks for animals. Those who use them say the masks fit better than devices designed for people.
They come in three sizes. The smallest can handle little dogs, cats or even ferrets.
Each set costs about $65 wholesale. None of the local fire departments has spent any tax money on them. All have been donated. Mount Pleasant and North Charleston started using them last year, followed by James Island, St. Andrews and Hollywood. Goose Creek got the masks in September.
Fincannon started her Web site and fundraising effort after reading an article in The Post and Courier last month about fire departments that use special oxygen masks for animals trapped in house fires.
Charleston Fire Chief Thomas Carr said in the article he was not using the masks but would be glad to if somebody came forth with the money. That's when Fincannon went into action.
She recently watched a video of firefighters reviving a dog rescued from a house fire in Daytona Beach.
"If that doesn't bring tears to your eyes, I just don't know, when that little dog starts wagging its tail," she said.
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Below is a facsimile of an article published by the Post and Courier, Charleston, SC. For the article as it appeared online, click here. This article really helped spread the word of my mission. My thanks to Dave Munday! Please pass my website to friends and family. The more people that know about my website, the more donations, the more masks, the more pets' lives saved! Please pass the word!
Janet Fincannon, seen with her cat Andrew, has raised money to purchase dozens of sets of animal oxygen masks for area fire departments. 'My long-range goal is for every firetruck in America to have oxygen masks for pets,' Fincannon said.
That's the slogan on Janet Fincannon's Web site. She's a self-described cat lover who values her five felines more than her West Ashley house.
She started the Web site last month to raise money to buy oxygen masks designed to fit over animal snouts. It's called Oxygen Masks for Pets. She raised enough in a couple weeks to donate 51 sets of animal oxygen masks to local fire departments. "She needs to be commended," Charleston Fire Department Public Information Officer Mark Ruppel said. "She did an incredible job. She is truly an amazing individual, taking this on singlehandedly."
Charleston got 15 sets of pet masks, one for each station. Ruppel said the firefighters will use them. North Charleston, Johns Island, Folly Beach and the Old Fort fire departments also got some.
Photo by Janet Fincannon Uno also wants to be a spokescat.