GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pet oxygen masks were purchased by Pitt County Emergency Management, the City of Greenville, Greenville Fire and Rescue and the Town of Winterville Fire Rescue EMS.

There were 30 new masks purchased from Wag’n 02 Fur Life, LLC. They are designed specifically to better fit the anatomy of pets like dogs.

The Treybrook Apartment Fire in May brought attention to the need for pet emergency equipment. Around 22 pets were impacted by the fire and some even died. Now these local agencies can help prevent animals from suffering smoke inhalation and more injuries in the future.

Chris Arnold, assistant deputy for Pitt County Animal Services said the new equipment helps them in rescue efforts so that people won’t lose their pets in the future.

“People have ’em as members of the family. They stay in the house, they sleep with their kids. They, you know, eat off the table, you know. They’re a valuable part of that family,” said Arnold.

He said that it was important that they have the opportunity to provide care because of the special place animals hold in many families.

“People, you know, have a lot of emotions tied to these animals that if something were to happen to ’em, it’d be just like losing a family member,” said Arnold. “So to give us these masks to help try to save them on scene instead of not having anything, it gives us that little bit of extra that we can provide for them so that animal stays a part of the family.”

Deputy Director and EMS Coordinator for Pitt County Emergency Management, Jim McArthur, said that it brings to light the necessity of making sure animals are cared for in fire emergencies.

“We don’t get a lot of smoke inhalations, especially on people at fires, but our pets don’t get out. You know, we don’t think of them escaping a fire in the same way and so this is an opportunity to be able to serve them,” said McArthur.

“Very simply to get them what they need in the event that they do have some smoke or fire danger,” he said.