Pet owners can breathe a little easier now since all the Smith County fire departments are equipped with oxygen masks for animals.
The Tyler Obedience Training Club recently finished its donation here in Bullard, dropping off a set of masks and an oxygen tank for the Bullard Volunteer Fire Department.
"We have an array of masks here that fit everything from a bird all the way up to a St. Bernard," said Donna Doyle, of the training club.
The masks normally retail anywhere from $75 to $200, depending on the size.
All the money for the Bullard donation was raised locally.
"We appreciate the donation," said Fire Chief Keith Newburn. "It's great for us when we can save the pets, too.
Newburn said at the recent fire in Flint/Gresham, he performed CPR on the family's dogs for about two minutes - but it was too late to save them.
"This could be a great tool for us," he said.
Kay Kingelin, a resident of Cumberland Ridge and dog lover, began just by soliciting neighbors.
"I started just with in my neighborhood, but it just sort of gained momentum," Kingelin said. She said she kept going, gaining donations to buy for both Bullard and Flint/Gresham volunteer departments.
The equipment was dropped off at the fire department by a large group of obedience club members and their pets.
Organized under the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act, Tyler Obedience Training Club's purpose is to educate both members and the general public in understanding and controlling canine behavior.
Many of our members actively participate in pet therapy at local hospitals and convalescence homes.
We also assist the Humane Society of Smith County by instructing volunteers in how to safely handle and socialize dogs awaiting adoption.
The next Volunteer Training Days for the Humane Society will be Saturday, Oct. 13.
Tyler Obedience Training Club is licensed by the American Kennel Club and proudly sponsors an AKC Obedience & Rally Trial each year.
There will be more than 150 competitors in Obedience and Rally Trials competing for titles, placements and awards and more than 1,000 dogs competing for breed prizes and "show dog" championships.
The club teaches the Canine Good Citizen Program created and administered by the AKC to further educate the public and recognize accomplishments people have made in teaching their dogs to be positive and productive members of their community and family.
The club has several AKC Approved Canine Good Citizen Evaluators and conducts the CGC tests throughout the year.
For more information on the club, call 903-531-0738.