It was a case of pet oxygen masks to the rescue in the US recently, as a local company donated two specially designed animal oxygen kits to the Orillia Fire Department in Ohio.

Some sources estimate that in North America alone, more than 40,000 pets die in fires each year, most thought to be due to smoke inhalation. In light of the recent donation however, Orillia's pet population can perhaps breathe a little easier.

The city’s fire department received a donation of two animal oxygen mask kits, one for each station, with each kit comprising of three masks specially sized to fit cats or small dogs, mid-sized dogs, and large dogs.

Smoked-out pets are often assisted with the use of regular or pediatric masks designed to fit human faces, which as a result, don't provide a 100% seal to deliver the pure oxygen needed to clear the inhaled smoke and carbon monoxide.

Providing the animal-friendly mask is part of a company initiative for Invisible Fence Brand of Muskoka, which indicated there could be further plans afoot, to donate additional kits to other area fire departments.