Some fire victims rescued from burning buildings are those who can’t cry for help.

It’s becoming more and more common, said Jeff Budai from Calgary’s fire department, for families to own pets, that of course don’t know what it means when the fire alarm sounds.

“Obviously, you can’t really converse with an animal and have them (exit the premises),” Budai said.

This was the case in a fire on Tuesday that caused as much as $40,000 in damage to a home in the Northeast where firefighters had to rescue five cats and three dogs, though one of the cats perished after succumbing to smoke inhalation despite resuscitation efforts by the crew.

Today, in an effort to enhance the ability for firefighters to save more family pets, the Calgary Fire Department is launching the CPR/Pet 02 Initiative, believed to be the first in Western Canada in co-operation with Dr. Dan Joffee and Dr Nigel Caulket of the Calgary Animal Referral & Emergency (C.A.R.E.) Centre Animal Hospital, that they hope will save more pets from a tragic end.

“Pets are becoming more and more important in people’s lives,” Budai said.

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