Published: Oct 27, 2011 7:49 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 10, 2011 1:51 AM EST

MARCO ISLAND, Fla.- When firefighters come to your rescue, you probably feel comfortable knowing that they have all the necessary equipment to try to save your life. And now pets and their owners in Marco Island can count on them too, thanks to new pet oxygen masks.

For Marco Island City Council chairman Jerry Gibson, his Italian Mastiff Fiora is part of the family.

"She's 97 pounds of pure love and affection," Gibson said.

And he'd do anything to keep her safe. So he's thrilled that Invisible Fence's Project Breathe has donated pet oxygen masks, six to the Marco Island Fire Department, and three to Isles of Capri.

In the past, we'd try to use an adult mask on a pet, but it doesn't fit as well and doesn't provide the oxygen that's needed," Depty Fire Chief Chris Byrne said. 

These masks are made for just about any animal, no matter their size.

"Small, medium, and large masks can attach safely to oxygen and save a pets life in the event of a fire," said Jill McKee with Invisble Fence. 


The goal of Project Breathe is to equip every fire station in America with pet oxygen masks. So far at least 10,000 masks have been donated all over the country, saving the lives of more than 50 pets.

Project Breathe has also donated masks to the Naples, East Naples and Estero fire departments.

For Gibson, the masks mean he can rest a little easier knowing his pooch is protected.

"She saw me through some difficult times and she is the focus of my life," Gibson said. "I think it's brilliant and we're really appreciative of Project Breathe."