The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Press readers may remember the story of Abbey – the Golden Retriever who was the


Dobie the Doberman displays one of the special pet oxygen
masks designed to be used by emergency personnel in rescue

subject of a rescue effort last December after she fell through the ice on the family pond.


Just before Christmas, Summoned by barking, Michael Edwards, a BGSU freshman home on Christmas break, went to the door to let in the family dogs. Expecting to find Abbey and Tucker, the family Boxer, Michael was surprised to see only Tucker.

After a brief search, Michael saw Abbey in the middle of the large pond, struggling to get out of the water. She was holding onto the broken ice with one paw, and kept falling under the water.

Guessing the ice was too thin and fragile to make it to where Abbey was, a frantic Michael called his mom, Karen, and then alerted the Woodville Township Fire Department, which rushed to the Edwards’ East County Road property.

Wearing cold-weather waterproof suits, firefighters retrieved the cold and exhausted dog from the water and took her to safety in a boat, as frightened members of the Edwards family and emergency personnel looked on.

Safely on dry land, paramedics from Woodville Township Life Squad administered oxygen to help Abbey breathe.

In the weeks after Abbeys rescue, a grateful Karen Edwards contacted Susan Fraley, owner Invisible Fence Brand  of Northwest Ohio. “She told me the story about what happened to Abbey,” Fraley said.

“And she said things would have been a lot easier if the paramedics had oxygen masks designed specifically for pets.”

Edwards went to the right place for help.

As a community service effort, Invisible Fence – which provides electronic pet containment – has been equipping fire stations across America with pet oxygen masks. Over the past two years, Invisible Fence Brand of Northwest Ohio alone has donated 95 oxygen recovery masks to local fire/rescue departments, Fraley said.

Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry Web sites and sources have cited that an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. The company hopes to help drastically reduce that number, Fraley said.

After Karen Edwards’ call, Fraley contacted the Woodville Township Fire Department. “Chief (Paul) Heineman said he could use an animal oxygen mask, and so could the other departments in the area,” Fraley said.

On March 31, Invisible Fence Brand of Northwest Ohio and Invisible Fence Brand of North Central Ohio donated 17 animal oxygen recovery mask kits to fire departments belonging to the Sandusky County Firemen’s Association and Harris-Elmore and Portage Fire District in Ottawa County. The donation was held at the Woodville Township Fire Station.

The kits, valued at $60 each, contain three masks designed to fit the muzzles of cats and various sizes of dogs.  “We hope that by donating oxygen mask kits that we will help save more pets and hopefully protect pet owners who may risk their own lives to save a pet in a fire,” Fraley said.

“The donation will enable us as firefighters to provide a better way to treat pets suffering from smoke inhalation as well any other types of rescue,” said Capt. Dave Miller, of the Woodville Township Fire Department. “As we all know, a pet is part of someone’s family.”

Dobie the Doberman displays one of the special pet oxygen masks designed to be used by emergency personnel in rescue situations.




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