Animal lovers donate oxygen kits for pets to Columbia Fire Department

07/21/2014 5:12 PM

07/21/2014 5:13 PM

A couple of animal lovers have helped equip the Columbia Fire Department with oxygen kits for pets who suffer smoke inhalation.

Nena Sinclair of Columbia said the two raised $1,000 to buy a dozen of the kits after seeing a news item last month about a cat resuscitated by Columbia firefighters.

Monday afternoon, she and fundraising friend Mary Ellen Tobias of Blythewood presented new kits — for a total of 15 altogether — to the department.

Chief Aubrey Jenkins said his agency is pleased with the donation, which helped get oxygen kits on all but eight of the city’s 40 primary fire trucks. “To get the right equipment to rescue an animal is very important,” Jenkins said.

Sinclair has three cats and two dogs and said in the event of a fire, “I’d rather them save my animals than to save my things. My things don’t love me like my animals.”

Sinclair said she and Tobias don’t have a formal organization but are simply “two chicks on a mission.” She hopes the two can move on to equip fire departments across the state with the $75 pet oxygen kits.

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Dawn Hinshaw

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