Girl spends her birthday money on pet resuscitation kits
PLAINVIEW — For a week Jadalynn Haugen debated: Should I spend the $20 of my birthday money on candy or help buy pet resuscitation equipment for the Plainview Fire Department?
Candy or pets, candy or pets?
The 9-year-old daughter of Michelle and Pat Haugen made up her mind when she saw her cat, Lilly.
"I can get candy any time, but nothing would replace her," she said.
She put the $20 toward pet resuscitation kits and began calling around to friends and family to get more money. She collected $95, enough for most of the cost of two kits given to the fire department and ambulance service Monday.
Jadalynn said she began thinking about the kits, similar to those now carried by Austin and Rochester fire departments, after she saw a story about several pets killed in a Rochester fire. The kits "could save a lot of animals," she thought.
Pam Miller, owner of Bone Appetit Canine Bakery Unleashed, said she was able to buy the kits for $65 each. They come with three mask sizes, for everything from ferrets to cats to big dogs, as well as tubing to connect to an oxygen tank, she said.
She believes firefighters will be happy to have them because many have pets and know pets are like family, she said.
Miller is trying to get the kits to other small fire and ambulance departments in the region.
She gave them to the Austin Fire Department and recently learned that the firefighters used one to resuscitate a dog who was limp when it was brought out of the burning home.
Assistant Plainview Fire Chief Mike Lyons, said ambulances will carry the kits for now because they also have oxygen tanks. Ambulances are called to all structure fires in case a firefighter is injured or they have to carry someone from a home.
In his 30 years, he can't think of a time when they have had to revive a pet, but he's happy to have the kits. People so value their pets, he said. "We would do our darnedest (to save the pet) if that was the case, he said.
The kits "are one of those things it would be great to have if it does happen."
And he was even more impressed that a 9-year-old girl went out of her way to raise the money.