DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — According to the Danville Fire Department, nearly 40,000 pets die in house fires each year while an additional 500,000 pets are injured because of fires. Those deaths and injuries are often the result of smoke inhalation.

(Photo courtesy: Danville Fire Department)

“The mission of the Danville Fire Department is to reduce the risk to life and property through professional response and community engagement,” fire officials said in a statement on Monday, Aug. 15. “Danville Fire Department recognizes that pets are beloved members of families and households within our communities and deserve the best care possible when a fire occurs.”

Thanks to the Project Breathe Program — which is designed to provide oxygen mask kits to first responders through the Invisible Fence Company — the department says it is now equipped with updated Pet Oxygen Rescue Mask Kits.

According to fire officials, each kit includes a small, medium, and large mask, but fire departments are only eligible to receive one kit per station.

The Danville Fire Department says the mask kits will be placed on all of its apparatus, replacing the aging masks it received from the same program about 10 years ago.