Colorado Fire Departments Join Pet Rescue Program

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Two prominent canine charities have joined forces to provide "pet-relief" in fire-ravaged Colorado.

Some surprising help is on the way to assist the Colorado firefighters. The Emma Zen Foundation and Surf Dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog have teamed up to raise funds to provide pet oxygen masks and training to all Colorado fire department personnel. So far, more than $60,000 has been donated or pledged.

Debra Jo Chiapuzio, head of the Emma Zen Foundation said, “Emma Zen and I are very proud to be associated with Ricochet in this endeavor. Ric has national reach and this fund raiser was just what we needed help Colorado and other high risk areas.”

“I’m overwhelmed by the support we received from our Facebook friends and,” said Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s spokes-mom. “Donations have exceeded our expectations. Establishing these masks in the state of Colorado is not going to be easy, but it’s this kind of spirit that will help us succeed.”

Ricochet has been raising funds and awareness for human/animal causes since October of 2009. Last July marked her $100,000th dollar, and now a year later, she's raised more than $200,000. She's also the only known dog in the world that surfs with people with disabilities, kids with special needs and wounded warriors as an assistive aid. In 2011, The ASPCA named her the “Dog of the Year.”

Emma Zen, the namesake of the foundation, brings awareness for pet oxygen masks by riding in her Harley sidecar. She has logged more than 30,000 miles so far. The Emma Zen Foundation has supplied more than 450 masks to fire stations in Southern California, ten other US states, plus Germany, Alberta, Canada and Japan. Each kit costs about $75 and includes masks for all size pets.

The Colorado Fire Chiefs Association has endorsed the program and will be providing assistance with equipping and training over 300 fire departments.

Ricochet and Emma Zen are urging other organizations and individuals to make a tax-deductible donation at these links: or It is their hope to raise enough funds to get oxygen masks to every fire department in Colorado and California. But, just as importantly, their ultimate goal is to get a pet oxygen mask kit on every fire truck in the country.

Since it's only the beginning of fire season, Ricochet and Emma will be raising awareness about preparedness, and hope to get pet oxygen masks to states that are high risk for fires before a fire strikes. Smoke damage in animals can be a devastating loss but your donation will save a life!

Note: For more information, contact Debra Jo Chiapuzio at 714-742-8895 or debrajochiapuzio(at)yahoo(dot)com or Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679 at pawinspired(at)aol(dot)com.

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Carol Martin
Sit 'n Stay Global, LLC
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