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Meet Emma Zen, Fundraising Canine for Pet Oxygen Masks

Editor’s note: Emma Zen is the newest canine to be welcomed into the CANIDAE Special Achievers, a sponsorship program created to support exemplary pets and their responsible owners.

How does a dog become a fundraiser? Well, this dog seems to have been born with what it takes. She has a story, a unique trait, and a dream! Emma Zen is a fire survivor; the Labrador Retriever was found running out of the hills near Santiago Canyon in October of 2007. Fire fighters turned the lost old soul into the Orange County Animal Shelter. Three days later, she met her human! Together and inseparable, Emma Zen and Debra Jo Chiapuzio began a long list of training regimens.

Obedience, Agility, Trick, Tracking, CGC, Therapy, Stage & Film, and Service... Emma Zen seemed to be a dog capable of doing it all. Yet it was when she sat in her Harley Davidson Sidecar that she shined! She personally doesn’t act as if this is a unique trait – if you ever saw her you would just think it’s her thing. Trademarked as “the Canine Ambassador for Biker Dogs,” Emma Zen now hosts a yearly Biker Dog Rally in, of all places, South Dakota during Sturgis Rally Week. And with her “why think small” attitude, the biker dog turned all the attention she was receiving into a full size fundraising adventure. Her dream is now a reality; what started as personal social and media attention is now used as a tool for bringing public awareness to household animals and their safety!

So what does Emma Zen do? As the mascot for Team O2™, she host fundraisers and then uses 100% of the contributions to purchase pet oxygen masks. On behalf of cities, individuals and companies, the pet oxygen masks are donated to fire departments and other first responders. This ensures that they have the right equipment on their trucks and engines to properly resuscitate animals in case of emergency such as smoke inhalation. Pet oxygen masks are specifically designed to fit muzzles and snouts of dogs, cats and other household pets. “Far too many pets die every year due to breathing difficulties such as smoke asphyxiation. We are trying to change the number of successful attempts at saving our pets lives,” said Debra Jo.

Emma Zen has recently become a part of the CANIDAE Special Achievers Program. She wanted to say thank you the only way she knew how, so she made a donation of oxygen masks to the Norco Fire Department in the name of CANIDAE Pet Foods. Emma Zen and Debra Jo were met by eager receivers: the Battalion Chief De Boer, the firefighters of station 21, Diane Matsuura of CANIDAE and her dog Breezie, and Rich Linton, a columnist with the Press Enterprise. Debra Jo presented the department with the lifesaving equipment and gave them some information on pet CPR. “I love the Norco Fire Department,” said Debra Jo. “They were excited about the ability to provide a consent flow of clean oxygen to pets in emergency situations. So much so, that since this ‘thank you’ was presented they have now asked for enough kits to supply all vehicles at both stations, which means the pets in Norco will now have a better chance of survival during emergencies like home fires and other natural disasters.”

If you live in Norco, this October at the Firefighters yearly pancake breakfast you will find a fundraising booth for Emma Zen and maybe even get to meet her. Your contributions make a difference in your pets’ safety and the protection of the pets in our neighborhoods. Emergency preparedness is a key to successful survival not only for humans, but for our pets as well. And that’s what responsible pet ownership is all about!

This canine has a story, she has a purpose and she is definitely unique. For more information, please visit her website, or her Facebook page.
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