Eno's Cause: Pet Oxygen Kits Help Avert Tragedy

Updated: Mar 20

A pet parent's nightmare. On the night of Aug. 6, 2019, Derby was caught in a fire at Falconbridge Animal Hospital. His mom got the call around midnight—her fur baby, who was boarding, had been pulled from the building and was being rushed by ambulance to emergency treatment. Derby had suffered smoke inhalation. While he wasn’t coughing, his oxygen level was quite low.

First responders had a pet oxygen mask at the ready—the very same donated months before by Eno Animal Hospital. We never wish tragedy to strike...yet when it inevitably does, we’re glad to be there.

This is Eno’s cause: helping first responders help animals.

Dr. Grinstead has long had friends in the fire department. When she asked what she could do to help, she learned about the shortage of pet oxygen kits on city fire trucks.

What Is a Pet Oxygen Kit?

A lifesaver for pets like Derby. Firefighters rescue families, and pets are family, too. They often pull dogs and cats from house fires right alongside their humans.

After the Falconbridge fire, several firefighters and EMT professionals said that without the pet oxygen kits, survival outcomes would have been very different. Without the kits, many more pet parents would have lost family members that night. (Sadly, first responders were not able to save any of the feline boarding pets.)

Each kit contains three masks especially designed for dogs and cats of different sizes, plus a resuscitation, or “ambu,” bag. The masks are durable, reusable, and simple to clean and disinfect. Each kit costs $200.

A Cause Is Born

Captain Tina taught Jethro to demonstrate a pet oxygen mask.

The Eno team started raising money for pet oxygen kits in 2018, reaching out to the amazing Eno family and then matching all donations.

In May 2019, Dr. Grinstead proudly presented Chief Bob Zoldas and members of the Durham Fire Department—including Jethro the Fire Dog—with 14 pet oxygen kits.

Watch the wonderful donation ceremony on WRAL. One of those kits was right there on the truck, as it screamed toward Falconbridge that summer night, ready for Derby.

Firefighter Emily Hannigan helped rescue dogs from the Falconbridge fire. Hear about the ordeal in her own words. Hannigan and her fellow heroes were able to administer oxygen immediately to pets at the scene. Derby’s mom, Tracy, is convinced the kit saved her fur baby’s life.

“I feel very grateful and blessed," she said. "Immediate oxygen made a huge difference. What you guys did...I’m just so grateful y’all stepped up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

See the story on CBS17, too.

Let’s Do More to Help Pets Like Derby

Creedmoor Chief Billy Fisher proudly displays his new kits.

As stories of the Falconbridge fire spread, the Eno team learned that the need for pet oxygen kits extended way past Bull City. So we kept raising and matching funds. Thanks to the generosity of the Eno family, we’ve donated eight more kits to date, to the fire departments of…

  • Bahama = 3

  • Creedmoor = 2

  • Lebanon = 2

  • Redwood = 1

That makes 22 total. Every fire truck in Durham is outfitted with these life-saving devices.

But there are still many city and volunteer squads that need our help. We want to keep going until every station in the state has pet oxygen kits.

Derby spent several days at Veterinary Referral Hospital getting medical treatment and receiving bath after bath to cleanse his skin and coat of smoke. Of his discharge and return, Tracy said, “My precious cargo is home with me.”

The Eno team was so happy to meet Derby after his recovery!

Being a positive force in our community is important to us. If you’d like to contribute or learn more, give us a call at (919) 471-0308. And welcome to our cause.


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