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26 May 11

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Breath of Fresh Air

While many of our volunteer fire companies on Long Island have been struggling to keep our animal friends safe, they are unable to purchase pet oxygen masks and as a result animals from dogs to cats are being put in serious danger, with many dying from the effects of smoke asphyxiation.  Pets in Suffolk County will now be breathing easier, and so will some of our local fire departments all because of the efforts of two teenage boys in Dix Hills and their partnership with Canine Fence.    Matthew and Marc Klinger, 15 and 13, co-founders of the Paws4Air foundation wanted to change that.  They started Paws4Air when they found out that their fire department did not carry pet oxygen masks on any of their fire trucks. Fire departments cannot use their money to buy these masks, because they can only purchase equipment that is used to help humans. They quickly used their birthday money to purchase the sets needed for their fire department. “Our goal is to equip every first response truck in Suffolk County with the much needed pet oxygen masks.” said Matthew and Marc.

Paws4Air created pet oxygen awareness bands that they sell to raise funds and awareness. Bands can be purchased from their website www.paws4air.org . They have had great help in selling the bands to students in their school district, Half Hollow Hills from the Animal Friends and Advocates Clubs at both the high schools, East and West, and the Leaders Club at West Hollow Middle School.

With their good fortune to partner up with Canine Fence, Paws4Air will be able to obtain their goal much faster!  Canine Fence have generously pledged to donate 50 Project Breathe O2 pet masks to help in the effort to equip every first response fire truck in Suffolk County, Long Island. As well as match one set for every one set purchased through fundraising by Paws 4Air. With the donations from Canine Fence and the sales of awareness bands, Paws4Air were able to give the fire companies in Commack, East Northport, and Elwood pet oxygen masks. In the next few weeks, many more fire departments in the Suffolk county area will be getting their sets!

Thanks to the efforts of two young men, and their charitable organization Paws4Air along with the contributions of Canine Fence® steps are being taken in the right direction.

Photo (left to right) Maryflorence Brennan (Canine Fence), Kieran Keane (Commack Fire Department), Marc Klinger (Paws4Air), Matthew Klinger (Paws4Air)

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