Oxygen Masks for Pets

The fire department and other first responders are often called upon to help out family pets, but oxygen masks developed specifically for animals are not standard equipment on their trucks.  We decided to get involved after we spoke with some first responders who rushed affected pets into our facility.

TVRH, along with the non-profit group Avalo, teamed up with the Durham veterinary community for this fund-raising project - almost every veterinary clinic in Durham participated!  As the result of the generosity of Durham residents, we were able to make these masks available to help save lives.

Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital was thrilled to be able to present 30 sets of oxygen masks to the Durham Fire Department, more than enough to equip all 23 of their trucks. 


Paws for a Cause

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At this time of the year, many people think about giving to homeless shelters, soup kitchens or children’s charities.  While these are great causes to donate to, some other causes fly under the radar.  While animals don’t understand the traditions of this time of year, they are also in need of help.  As animal lovers, we are asking for your help to give back to animals that aren’t lucky enough to have a warm home or a loving person taking care of them.  We are holding a donation drive for some local animal welfare organizations. This year we are collecting donations for the Animal Protection Society of Durham and CLAWS Inc.  By giving to these two organizations, you are helping improve the life of animals at the shelter and injured or rescued wildlife.

The Animal Protection Society of Durham (APS) is our local animal shelter; They take care of stray dogs and cats.  They provide housing, food and medical treatment if needed.  Things needed for the shelter are:

  • Pedigree Small Bite dry dog food
  • Purina One dry adult cat and kitten food
  • Friskies canned poultry platter
  • Non-clumping kitty litter (preferably Tidy Cat)
  • Large sized Kong toys for dogs over 40 lbs.
  • Peanut butter (all brands and sizes)
  • Bedding for dogs and cats (fleece blankets can be found at Walmart for $2.88 ea.)
  • Toys new and used (clean and in good condition like the expensive toys you buy for your cat that would rather play with rolled up paper)
  • Collars and leashes
  • Bleach and other disinfectants. 

 If you’d like more information on the APS, please visit their website - You can learn about volunteering, meet a potential new family member or make a monetary donation.

CLAWS Inc is a local non-profit organization that provides education, rescue and rehabilitation for both wildlife and exotic species. They have helped many raptors (hawks, owls, etc.), song birds, otters and skunks just to name a few; We rely heavily on their assistance when we have wildlife emergencies. CLAWS does not receive government funding and relies heavily on donations to continue their work.

 Some things to donate would be:

  • Gas cards - They spend a lot of time on the road picking up animals in need of rehabilitation.
  • Solid sided crates of all sizes (dog and cat type)
  • NUTS, NUTS and more NUTS, including acorns!  If you have these in your yard that you do not need, please consider raking them up, bagging them and donating them to the animals at CLAWS!!!
  • Paper Towels - you would not believe the number of these they go through
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Rattles for the Owls (yes, actual baby rattles)
  • Pack n Play type play pen WITH a top that zips.  Animals can, and do climb
  • Multi-level ferret type cages
  • Critter Beds
  • Snugglesafes - to keep the animals warm and safe in the winter months
  • Canned goats milk
  • Gift Certificates to PetSmart or Ferret Depot

For more information on CLAWS, please see You can check availability for educational opportunities, sponsor a rehabilitated or resident animal or make a donation on their website.

 We will accept donations for both organizations throughout the end of the year.  If you’d like to learn more about either of these organizations or think you can help in an alternate way, please let us know!

Oxygen masks for pets


It's one of our worst nightmares - a house fire.  In addition to losing a home and all of our belongings, the risk of losing family members is terrifying.  And for many of us, "family" includes our pets.

Our emergency service has seen it over and over;  brave first responders rushing through our doors with unconscious animals that are suffering from smoke inhalation.  The vital treatment for those animals is oxygen supplementation, and many of these trucks don't have the right equipment.  Human oxygen masks help, but they just don't fit right.

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Pet masks are not standard equipment, and we'd like to change that.  So we're challenging the entire Durham County veterinary community to get involved; with their help and the help of the pet-owning public, we believe we can supply every emergency truck in the county with a set of pet-specific oxygen masks.  These masks will fit everything from kittens to Great Danes, sealing around the "snout" to provide supplementary oxygen to animals struggling to breathe.

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We've partnered with Bayou rescue for this project, and as a 501(c)3, donations are tax deductible.  When you visit your primary care veterinarian, look for our display and donation jar.  If they don't have information on the program, be sure to mention it to them!  Donations  (checks should be made out to Bayou Rescue) can be mailed to 608 Morreene Rd, Durham NC 27705. (We are unable to accept credit card donations due to bank fees.  We apologize for any inconvenience.)

Thank you so much for your help!


Pets and Child Safety


How to Teach Your Child to Approach Dogs Safely

Summertime is here which means more outdoor activities at the park or around your neighborhood where children and dogs will meet.  Children love to pet dogs, for the most part, and dogs love to be petted, for the most part. Teaching your children the proper and safe way to approach a dog is important for their safety as well as the dog. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that the experience will always be positive and pleasant.


Always ask permission from owner before you approach the dog! While most dogs you meet may be friendly, some may not be use to strangers or children. If the owner says no, thank them and let them pass, giving them plenty of space.

Allow the dog to approach and smell your hand. Hold your hand out palm down, in a loose fist so the dog can smell you. Wait for the dog to approach you and sniff your hand. If he turns away, he does not want any more attention. If he leans in or licks your hand, then he is letting you know you may pet him.

Pet the dog gently on his back. Never go over the dogs head to pet them. It may scare them. Instead approach from the side and pet him on his back avoiding his tail. Watch the dog for his response. If he is eager for more or rolls over on his back then continue petting him. If he seems uncomfortable, stop petting and talk gently to him instead.

“Thank you”. Let the owner and dog know you appreciate them letting you meet them!

Some other important safety tips to teach your child:

·         Never approach a dog when the owner is not with them.            

·         Never put your face in a dogs face.

·         Never take food or toys away from dogs.

·         Never run or shout around dogs.

·         Always be gentle and kind.

These steps and tips can help to prevent potentially dangerous mishaps. Start teaching your children early and make dogs safety game-like and fun to help your child to learn the rules quickly and easily. The sooner your child learns how to approach a strange dog the safer and happier they will be as well as the dog and its owner!

 -Jamie Hecht