A pet parent’s nightmare. On the night of Aug. 6, 2019, Derby was caught in a fire at Falconbridge Animal Hospital.
His mom got the call around midnight. Her fur baby, who was boarding, had been pulled from the building and was being rushed by ambulance to emergency treatment. Derby, a 4-year-old Greyhound, had suffered smoke inhalation. While he wasn’t coughing, his oxygen level was quite low.
First responders had a pet oxygen kit at the ready—the very same donated months before by Eno Animal Hospital.
We never want tragedy to strike…yet if it does, we want pet oxygen kits to be there to help.
A Cause Is Born
Our owner, Dr. Grinstead, has long had friends in the fire department. When she asked what she could do to help, she learned about the shortage of pet oxygen kits on local fire trucks.
She knew immediately what she wanted to do: help first responders help animals.
In 2018, Dr. Grinstead and the Eno team started raising money for pet oxygen kits, reaching out to our amazing Eno family, and then matching all donations.
What Is a Pet Oxygen Kit?
A lifesaver for pets like Derby. Firefighters rescue families, and pets are family too. They often pull dogs and cats from house fires right alongside their humans.
After the Falconbridge fire, several firefighters and EMT professionals said that without the pet oxygen kits, survival outcomes would have been very different. Without the kits, many more pet parents would have lost family members that night. (Sadly, first responders were not able to save any of the feline boarding pets.)
Each kit contains three masks designed specifically for dogs and cats of different sizes, plus three resuscitation, or “Ambu,” bags. The masks and resuscitation bags are durable, reusable, and easy to clean and disinfect. Each kit costs $200.
‘Thank You, Thank You, Thank You’
In May 2019, Dr. Grinstead proudly presented Chief Bob Zoldas and members of the Durham Fire Department, including Captain Tina and Jethro the Fire Dog, with 14 pet oxygen kits.
One of those kits was right there on the fire truck as it screamed toward Falconbridge Animal Hospital that scary summer night—ready for Derby.
Firefighter Emily Hannigan helped rescue dogs from the Falconbridge fire. Hear about the ordeal in her own words. Hannigan and her fellow heroes were able to administer oxygen immediately to pets at the scene.
Derby’s mom, Tracy, is convinced the pet oxygen kit helped save her fur baby’s life.
“I feel very grateful and blessed,” she said. “Immediate oxygen made a huge difference. What you guys did…I’m just so grateful y’all stepped up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Let’s Do More to Help Pets Like Derby
As stories of the Falconbridge fire spread, the Eno team learned that the need for pet oxygen kits extended way beyond Bull City.
So we kept raising money and matching funds. Thanks to the generosity of our Eno family, we’ve donated eight more kits to date, to the fire departments of Bahama (three kits), Creedmoor (two kits), Lebanon (two kits), and Redwood (one kit).
With the 14 for Durham, that makes 22 pet oxygen kits donated in total. Now every fire truck in every one of these communities is outfitted with these life-saving devices.
But there are still many city and volunteer squads that need our help. We want to keep going until every station in the state has pet oxygen kits.
Derby spent several days at Veterinary Referral Hospital getting excellent medical care and receiving bath after bath to cleanse his skin and coat of smoke.
The Eno team was so honored and thrilled to meet Derby after his recovery!
Of his discharge and safe return, Tracy said, “My precious cargo is home with me.”
Being a positive force in our community is important to us. If you’d like to contribute or learn more, give us a call at (919) 471-0308. And welcome to our cause!