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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Fire Department is now even more prepared to save the lives of our pets after the donation of seven sets of pet oxygen masks from the OKC Kennel Club.

Firefighters rush into danger to save our lives and often – the lives of our pets.

“Pets are a part of the family almost like a family member so they tend to be very distraught if their pet is hurt or injured or suffering from smoke inhalation,” said Lt. Jeff Hanlon with the OKC Fire department.

The American Kennel Club estimates about 40,000 pets die in house fires per year.

“Most of those are probably from smoke inhalation,” Hanlon said.

You’ve probably seen the Oklahoma City Fire Department using these resuscitation masks on pets before.

The Oklahoma City Kennel Club previously donated 4 sets of them to the department, but now they’re giving 7 more sets – as the need is great.

“If it happened in one of our homes, we certainly would want our animals to be cared for,” said Maggie Shrick with the OKC Kennel Club.

OKC Fire search and rescue dog Pepper was on hand for the announcement. Her handler, Lt. Jeff Hanlon says pets are oftentimes better patients in this treatment than humans.

“They can be a little bit more cooperative because they’re usually unconscious or very sick. When you try to put it on a human they usually try to wrestle around,” he said.

Of course, they make masks big enough for dogs like Pepper because, like pets, they come in all sizes.

“The small ones can be used for gerbils or family pets like rats or whatever the small animal is in the house or baby kittens and then all sizes of dogs up to large,” said Shrick.

Each kit costs less than $100.

They do expire but last about 5 or 6 years.