Did you know that every year, around 500,000 pets are affected by house fires? That’s why the Orlando Cat Cafe decided to help those pets by donating pet oxygen masks to their local Lake County Fire Rescue. The cafe’s annual donations fall on National Pet Fire Safety Day, July 15.
Of those 500,000 pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association says 40,000 pets may die each year, mostly due to smoke inhalation. The firefighters save critical time by having the masks on hand, as every second counts when reviving pets. Each kit comes at around $150 and comes in small, medium, and large for every size pet.
Firefighters save beloved pets and reunite them with their humans by having masks on hand. Such reunions can mean everything to people contending with such a traumatic event. Cats survivors have frequently inspired whole communities following devastating fires.
Oxygen Masks for Cats and Other Pets
In 2019, Orlando Cat Cafe’s Sandy Cagan donated reusable oxygen masks for pets to the Lake County Fire Rescue. A cat lover, she has two Maine Coons at home.
Below you can see the firefighters, Cagan, Commissioner Sean Parks, and some of the cute cafe kitties. What a great way to thank the firefighters and help save pets!
In 2021, the Cat Cafe did it again, donating to the Lake County Fire Rescue. Earlier in the month, one of the masks helped save a dog named Quinn.
A Ripple Effect in the Community
The donations caused a “ripple effect,” inspiring a woman named Rebekah and her kitty Precious to donate seven more oxygen masks to the Seminole County Fire Department.
She was also stirred to take action after witnessing the tragic fire at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando shelter. Orange County Fire Rescue saved around 26 dogs and 48 cats from the building.
“With cats, you just live to serve them, so I’ve just accepted it. It’s my fate!” she told Spectrum News 13.
A Seminole Firefighter for over 23 years, Katrina Elliot said the rescuers use the masks to save birds, cats, dogs, and even a pet rat.
“We use them many times so they’re very important,” said Elliot.
Other local businesses also got onboard, donating masks to the firefighters (see video below).
Video by WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando:
National Fire Safety Day
The Orlando Cat Cafe continued the tradition of donating oxygen masks for National Fire Safety Day, July 15. The day has become one of their favorite holidays. In 2022, they donated three maks kits to Lake County Fire Rescue.
“We use them quite often in house fires. A lot of times, people are more distraught about their pets than anything else,” said Chief Robertson.
“🔥National Fire Safety Day 🔥 has become one of our favorite holidays every year because we get to invite our friends from our local Fire Department and present Pet Oxygen Masks to their crews! We have received stories from their firefighters when they have had to use the masks during emergencies, and we are humbled to be able to help in this small way. On behalf of Orlando Cat Cafe, we want to say a HUGE thank you to our firefighters and all first responders who risk their lives to help save people and also many pets along the way,” the Cafe shared on Facebook.
Even better, the ceremony at the Cat Cafe led to the adoption of an 8-year-old cat named Buddha by a couple who attended.
“It was love at first sight for Buddha’s new parents! They knew from the moment they came in that Buddha was the one for them and she soon fell in love as well!”
Orlando Cat Cafe is just 4 miles from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where people can meet adoptable kitties from SPCA Florida and enjoy coffee and pastries (reservations encouraged). Since opening, the cafe has had over 1,789 adoptions. Donating oxygen masks has saved many more animals and inspired others to follow their example. One day, Cagan hopes to have an oxygen mask for animals on every fire truck in the county, and it looks like she is well on their way to reaching the goal. Well done!
Video by Orlando Cat Cafe: