Firefighters Save 7 Kittens from Smoke Inhalation

Florida first-responders used resuscitation technique on tiny cats when oxygen masks wouldn't fit.

Florida first-responders used resuscitation technique on tiny cats when oxygen masks wouldn't fit.

When a pot melted on a stove at a home in Bonita Springs, Fla., this past weekend, firefighters were quickly called to the scene. No flames appeared but the house was filled with smoke, leaving anyone present vulnerable to the effects of smoke inhalation. That included seven kittens, and their very protective mother cat.

“We just took the little ones out, they were really tiny and fairly new, and the house was really smoky,” Lieutenant Jim Lamb told the Naples Daily News about the seven kittens in the smoke-filled house.

Once outside, firefighters treated the kittens for minor smoke inhalation, and gave them oxygen. The problem? While Bonita Springs has invested in oxygen masks for animals, the kittens were far too small for them; therefore, firefighters used a technique known as ‘blow by’, which involves putting the oxygen tubes directly in front of the kitten’s noses, in order to provide them with supplemental oxygen.

As for mom? She was unharmed by the smoke, and none too happy with the presence of the firefighters.

“She stayed in the house,” Lamb laughed. “She tried to eat our chief.”

As soon as the kittens had been treated, firefighters cleared the smoke from the house, and returned the wee ones to their mom and owners – all of whom were very grateful.

“We will do everything within our expertise to help,” Bonita Springs Fire District’s Natalie Hughes told The Dodo. “These pets are like family to people.”

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