BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Sasha, an 8r-old Czechoslovakian German Shepherd, is the first pet in Beckley to try out a new oxygen mask, made just for pets.

Her handler, Jerry Johnson of the Raleigh County Community Emergency Response Team, reached out to the company, Invisible Fence, to get a free mask kit for Beckley Fire Department, through a program called Project Breathe.

“They will donate to any fire department a set of oxygen masks, large medium and small,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the masks fit dogs, cats and even some other animals. They are specially sized and designed to deliver oxygen to pets who are injured during emergencies like house fires.

Beckley Fire Department Lt. Chris Graham said the masks will make a difference in the quality of care that pets receive.

“We can take our SUBA masks off, we can use a blow box we use on a person, but it really doesn’t fit the pet,” said Graham. “So, with these masks, it gives the fire department a better chance of trying to save a pet.”

Graham said firefighters make efforts to save animals’ lives during housefires and other rescues, but sometimes the lack of equipment for these animals makes it difficult. The masks donated by Invisible Fence will seal more effectively and get more oxygen to pets who need it.

“And you know, that’s important to people who own them, because we love our animals,” he said.