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Pet CPR class raises funds for pet oxygen masks

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HOLDEN - Bobby Silcott of Naples is a life saver. He's helped supply numerous fire and rescue departments in Maine with pet oxygen masks through his nonprofit called The Maine POM Project. Over 270 have been delivered since 2009 and Silcott plans to keep on working until each and every fire and rescue squad has one on hand.

"The rescue and fire departments love to have this tool in their tool bag. They can be used on any companion animal from a hamster to a foal," said Silcott. "We've been up to Fort Kent and down to Eliot and many places in between, and when a rescue or EMT saves an animal's life with this, they never forget it." 

Each pet oxygen mask costs $75, which can be hard to come by for Maine's small or all volunteer fire departments. That's where Silcott, a certified Red Cross instructor, steps in. He holds animal first aid/CPR classes wherever space is available and donates the registration fee participants pay for the course toward the purchase of pet oxygen masks. Renaissance Dogs in Holden is his next stop. 

"This is something we've wanted to do for a while," said Rebecca Henderson, owner of Renaissance Dogs. "I want to make sure all my staff is certified in first aid, but on top of that it's a great opportunity for the public to have their own first aid/CPR certification for their cats and dogs."

A pet first aid/CPR course will be held on Sunday, March 2 from 12 to 4 at Renaissance Dogs on Main Road in Holden. Participants are encouraged to pre-register. Cost is $60 and includes a book, DVD and lifetime certification from the Red Cross.

"I think people want to be better pet owners and be prepared in case of an emergency. I know I want to do that," said Henderson. 

Silcott hopes others like Henderson will help him continue to spread his life saving techniques and equipment to every two and four legged Mainer who needs it. 

"I love what I do. I've never been involved with anything like it in my life. It gives me the warm fuzzys all the time," said Silcott.

Those who can't attend this weekend's class but would like to learn more or donate to The Maine POM Project can do so by logging onto or by following them on Facebook.


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