Drexel Heights Division Chief Dane Crouse demonstrates one of the new pet breathing masks on Hannah, a 5-year-old beagle.


Hannah was center stage Monday, breathing it all in.

The 5-year-old beagle helped Drexel Heights Fire District firefighters demonstrate a pet mask used to deliver oxygen to an animal in distress.

Five pet-mask kits were donated to the fire district by animal advocate Roberta Wright, 72, and her husband, Ron, 82. The presentation was at Fire Station 405 at 7200 S. Wade Road.

The masks from Pet America Oxygen Masks cost the couple $450 and will be put on all the district's fire engines and a rescue truck "to deliver oxygen to pets in need, and in some cases save their lives," said Tracy Koslowski, a spokeswoman for the fire district. To learn more about the masks, go to www.petsamerica.org

The reusable masks come in small, medium and large, and can accommodate any animal that firefighters come across - from a kitten to a large dog, said Roberta Wright, founder of SPEAK, Supporting & Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom.

They also can be adjusted to fit smaller animals, such as hamsters, Koslowski said.

"The masks will come in real handy because most families have pets, and in the past we would use the regular masks for people, and convert them to work to give oxygen to animals," Koslowski said. "These pet masks are perfect because they are made to fit their snouts," she said.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or cduarte@azstarnet.com