Two dogs rescued near death from a Bowie house fire last fall were revived by firefighters at the scene, only to see one of pets die a few days later because its owners couldn’t afford the needed follow-up veterinarian care.
The loss of a family pet that could have been saved has inspired Prince George’s County firefighters and animal advocates to establish a fund that pays for emergency veterinarian care. A fire department spokesman says it is one of the first such ventures in the country.
In October 2013 firefighters rescued two dogs, Mylo and Otis, from the burnt-out remains of a Bowie home. The dogs were lifeless, but were resuscitated by firefighters using donated pet oxygen masks.
Fire investigators working with the family on a cause of the fire saw the dogs’ conditions deteriorate because the family could not afford to obtain the needed vet care to treat the dogs’ burns and smoke inhalation, said department spokesman Mark E. Brady.
The department worked to find a vet who could provide care to the pets. By the time appropriate care was located, it was too late for Otis, a 2-year-old Chihuahua, which died at the vet’s office.
“If vet care had been initiated earlier, there is the real possibility that both family pets would have survived,” Brady said Monday in a release.
Mylo, a 3-year-old
Chihuahua, survived his injuries thanks to vet care.
The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and the SPCA of Anne Arundel County worked together, and with support from the Prince George's County Animal Management Division, have created the "PGFD and SPCA Sparky Fire Fund."
This fund will allow a
family pet in an emergency to be taken to select 24-hour veterinarians and
receive immediate care. Payment will be made through this fund, which will be
managed by the SPCA.
Now, when a pet is found to be suffering from a fire injury or smoke inhalation and the family cannot afford care or is not available to care for the pet, authorization will be given to have the pet taken to one of the selected vets for treatment. The "PGFD and SPCA Sparky Fire Fund" will ensure care is initiated and payment guaranteed to the vet.
This is believed to be one of the first programs of this type involving fire departments and the SPCA, Brady said.
Donations from are residents are needed to help other animals hurt in future emergencies.
“Our goal is to meet the expenses of pet owners who find themselves in situations similar to that of Mylo’s and Otis’ owner,” Brady said. “Your generous donations will provide immediate veterinary care for pets affected by house fires in Prince George’s County.
Donations may be made on-line by clicking here. Be sure to indicate that your donation is for the PGFD SPCA Sparky Fire Fund.
Donations may also be sent by mail and should be sent to: SPCA of Anne Arundel County, PGFD & SPCA Sparky Fire Fund, 1815 Bay Ridge Avenu, Annapolis, MD 21403.