Student Donates Lifesaving Masks For Pets To DMFD

Press Release

Des Moines, Iowa — Wednesday, February 10, 2021 — One of the most painful repercussions of fires for residents and first responders alike is the toll taken on family pets.  Though rarely elevated to the evening news, 40,000 pets are estimated killed in fires every year in the U.S., leaving emotional scars often more painful than the loss of homes and belongings for their owners.

Senior Fire Medic Dave Deery, a 21-year veteran of the Des Moines Fire Department (DMFD), knows this as well as anyone.  Returning to his own south-side home from a work shift which included resuscitating a family’s dog after battling a fire at their Des Moines residence, his daughter, Carley, took action.  

By baking and selling dog treats and creating a GoFundMe page, the high school senior was able to raise over $2,000, enough to purchase the nearly 50 pet oxygen resuscitation masks metro fire departments, including the DMFD, expressed a need for. 

Since, like humans, most pet fire victims perish from smoke inhalation, the reusable kits will allow DMFD firefighters to intervene in a way that has the greatest chance of saving pets’ lives.  And with multiple size masks, the kits will allow them to treat animals ranging from cats and rabbits to large-breed dogs.  While only two departmental kits were in service previously, Carley’s hard work will pay off in her own hometown early next week, when the remaining 22 front-line DMFD ambulances, engines and trucks are scheduled to be outfitted with the life-saving devices.

Chris Clement
Captain, Fire Department
(515) 283-4508

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit, Facebook and Twitter for more information.