Bonny Thatcher and Mindy Dyjak represented the Pasco Florida Kennel Club by donating three different sized oxygen masks from the PFKC for animals to the New Port Richey Fire Department on Dec. 9.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Local pets just got a little bit of extra help in case of emergencies, thanks to the Pasco Florida Kennel Club.

The nonprofit recently dropped off three sizes of oxygen masks designed for pet safety to the New Port Richey Fire Department earlier this December. The club had previously donated $9,500 to the New Port Richey Police Department to enable the purchase of a new K9 to join the unit, bringing the team up to three dogs.

The Pasco Florida Kennel Club receives its money for donations through its participation in dog shows, and the club is known for its generosity when it comes to supporting the community. In the past, the club has supported K9 Partners for Patriots Inc. and E.A.R.S. Animal Rescue and Sanctuary Inc.

“I knew from the chief of police that one dog was being retired and they were down to two dogs, he wanted another one and I said we can make that happen,” said Jeanne St John, treasurer of the Pasco Florida Kennel Club. “Of course, the new dog won’t be on the streets yet, it has to go through training.”

Members of the kennel club are passionate about finding ways to meet the community’s needs, and oxygen masks happened to be just one area that could have used help. St John recalled an incident at a dog show where a bulldog needed assistance. Oxygen was in supply but an oxygen mask wasn’t, so a Styrofoam cup was used over its nose to apply oxygen.

The kennel club had a surplus of oxygen masks after sourcing them out to different department in the county, and after a conversation with the fire chief, the Pasco Florida Kennel Club board decided it would be in good hands if they donated these to the fire department.

“You would not believe how many times they have to use oxygen on pets,” St John said. “You never think of that.”

The Pasco Florida Kennel Club is always accepting new members, and will next participate in the Florida Gulf Coast Cluster I show on Jan. 8 and Cluster II on Jan. 13 at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, Brooksville. St John invites dog enthusiasts to attend.

“It’s a great way to find stuff you don’t normally see in pet stores,” St John said.

To keep up with the club, search for the group on Facebook.