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Published July 25th, 2018
Lafayette business part of fundraiser for pet lifesaving equipment
Capt. Chuck Wong of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 4 demonstrates a pet oxygen mask with Kona, also a task force member. Photo provided

A foundation that provides pet resuscitation equipment for fire, police and other medical first responders, and bulletproof vests for police K-9 units, raised over $150,000 in July to be allocated for pet lifesaving equipment among fire and police agencies in California.
The Police and Working K-9 Foundation fundraiser took place at Oakland-based Pet Food Express locations in California over the July 14-15 weekend. For a $15 donation, customers washed their dogs at the company's self-service pet wash (no reports of bathed cats), and 100 percent of the proceeds went to the foundation to provide pet oxygen masks for medical first responders, as well as bulletproof vests for police K-9s.
The dog wash also aimed to raise awareness for California Senate Bill 1305, Emergency Medical Service Providers: Dogs and Cats. The bill, introduced by Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda, would permit first responders to provide care to an injured domesticated animal at the scene of an emergency prior to transferring the animal to a veterinary care facility. Currently, a veterinarian is the only person authorized to give lifesaving first aid to a pet.
Michael Donner, a retired firefighter from the Oakland Fire Department, stopped at the Lafayette Pet Food Express on July 15. "Our goal was to save lives first, property second," said Donner, regarding administering lifesaving care to an injured pet. "I never once thought, 'Gee, I'm not supposed to do that.' Rather, what can I do to save this animal?"
As to the allocation of the equipment purchased with the donations, "The equipment will go to whoever needs it most," said Louise Tully, foundation president. "We decide on the allocation by the needs of the departments in the cities and counties where the funds were raised. If a given department has everything that they need, we try to help other cities nearby that may have budget challenges and not be as fortunate."
In Lamorinda, Fire Station 44 of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District is equipped with a pet oxygen mask, as is one district battalion chief office. "MOFD is committed to the best possible outcomes for the citizens of our district," Fire Chief Dave Winnacker said.
Neither of the two Contra Costa County Fire Protection District stations in Lafayette has a pet oxygen mask kit, and not one of the three Lamorinda police departments has a K-9 unit.
Donations for the pet rescue equipment will be accepted at the Lafayette Pet Food Express counter until July 31. The Lafayette location collected more than $2,500 during the July weekend event.

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