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City of Duluth - Fire Department
602 West Second Street • Duluth, Minnesota 55802
218-730-4400 •
For more information contact Kelli Latuska,
Public Information Officer at 218-730-5309
DATE: 9/30/2021
SUBJECT: Duluth Fire and Duluth Veterinary Hospital partner to save the lives of animals
BY: Kate Van Daele, Public Information Officer

INCIDENT DATE: 9/30/2021
INCIDENT TIME: 2:00 p.m.
INCIDENT LOCATION: Duluth Veterinary Hospital


Duluth Fire and Duluth Veterinary Hospital partner to save the lives of animals

[Duluth, MN] The Duluth Fire Department and the Duluth Veterinary Hospital will host a press conference at 2:00 p.m. today, September 30, 2021, to highlight a partnership providing care for animals in emergencies. The press conference will be held at the Duluth Veterinary Hospital located at 2015 London Road.

In 2014, Duluth and Hermantown Fire Departments applied for a grant to obtain animal oxygen masks for the departments. Since then, the need for animal care equipment and supplies has grown. In 2018, the Duluth Fire Department started implementing more robust animal rescue kits on all rigs in the City of Duluth. In the fall of that year, all members received training on the medical treatment of animals. Since then, Fire officials estimate that hundreds of pets have been rescued from structure fires, car accidents, and other emergency incidents.

When an animal emergency occurs, the list of providers who will accept animals in distress is short in the Twin Ports.

“Of course, there is a liability that goes with accepting animals who need care,” Firefighter Tony Schilling said. “The Duluth Veterinary Hospital has agreed to be on that list and continues to provide invaluable care for pets who are badly hurt or needing lifesaving efforts.”

In 2021 alone, the Duluth Fire Department has responded to a higher number of calls for service that have involved pets needing medical treatment.

“Animal rescues make up a higher percentage than humans when responding to structure fires because people can generally get out on their own,” Schilling said. “Saving pets has always been a high priority for us. Until recently, we didn’t have the equipment or the training needed to treat animals. With businesses like the Duluth Veterinary Hospital stepping up to donate the equipment, supplies, and training we need, we can provide a better service to the public.”

Serving the community continues to be a part of the mission of the Duluth Veterinary Hospital.

“We feel it’s vital to support our community and bring hope and healing to those in need,” Co-owner Dr. Steve Schuder said. “We are happy and proud to support the Duluth Fire Departments in their efforts to provide care for animals in need.”

The Duluth Veterinary Hospital has graciously donated oxygen masks in different sizes, leashes, and medical supplies to fill the animal rescue kits. Staff from the Duluth Veterinary Hospital will also be providing medical training to Duluth Firefighters to prepare them for calls for service involving pets.

“The whole reason the program exists is because of donations,” Schilling said. “Many of us have pets and are keenly aware that pets are members of people's families. We are grateful for partnerships like the one with Dr. Schuder, Dr. Dank, and the entire Duluth Veterinary Hospital for their donations, expertise, and willingness to train our crews so that we can continue to save the lives of animals.”

One of the masks that the Hospital recently donated was used to save Ozzie's life, a pug rescued in a structure fire earlier this month. Hospital staff said that without the oxygen masks and the efforts of Duluth Firefighters, Ozzie wouldn’t have made it.

“These partnerships, the education, supplies, and equipment matter in these situations,” Dr. Schuder said. “They are first on scene and are the first to start lifesaving efforts. Without them, the outcome of these situations could be very different.”