Many times there are increases in residential fires during cold snaps, putting human and animal life in danger.  Residents are encouraged to exercise caution with heating devices to avoid fires and word is being spread on how pet owners can help emergency crews save animals at fire scenes.

Gord Horne/ThinkStock

Recently, one dog perished in a house fire but another was revived in Delaware County as an emergency medical technician was able to administer oxygen using a system that is designed for humans. Officials say, that method, however is less effective than using equipment designed to fit animal's snouts.

That prompted Delaware Valley Humane Society Shelter Manager Erin Insinga to work to try to make people aware about the availability of pet rescue apparatus for fire and emergency medical crews.

Residents can purchase pet oxygen mask kits online to be donated to local emergency responders at

Broome County Director of Emergency Services Michael Ponticello says he was aware of some companies having some of the equipment, some of it purchased maybe ten years ago or more but new equipment is always welcome.  People purchasing the kits for $90 can designate what emergency crew they want the units to go to.

Delaware Valley Humane Society photo-Tootsie

On a side note, the dog pictured here is Tootsie who is available at the Delaware Valley Humane Society.  Tootsie has been at the shelter for a very long time in spite of being a very happy, affectionate dog.  Shelter officials say Tootsie likes to play and will swim until made to stop.  However, she is not fond of small children that are not schooled in interactions with dogs and does not do well with other animals.  Her caregivers at the shelter say she would be a super companion on hikes and in a loving home. Contact the Delaware Valley Humane Society shelter at (607) 563-7780 for information about Tootsie. (Tootsie's adoption fee has been sponsored.)