More than a year ago we highlighted the Ridgeland Fire Department’s efforts to keep your pets safe.

The fire department, through a grant, acquired two pet oxygen masks in the hopes of saving a pet’s life during a fire.

Last week the masks were utilized and a dog was saved.

A home on Adams Street went up in flames during the afternoon of Sept. 30. The homeowner was out, but her dog was inside.

Once firefighters knew a pet was inside, they discovered the dog — Mercy — hiding under a towel. She was rescued and the device, which allows firefighters to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation, helped save Mercy’s life.

Thanks to the efforts of the Ridgeland and county fire crews, led by Ridgeland Lt. George Wynn, the mask was immediately applied. Mercy survived and after trips to the vet, her health was slowly improving as of last week.

Invisible Fence Brand has donated more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks to fire stations all over the U.S. and Canada since the program began in 2008 and we saw last week the mask's value.

As of last year, Invisible Fence Brand said 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation.

The masks helped save the 3-year-old Shih Tzu puppy. We are grateful the fire department applied for the grant and we are pleased to see the masks having a positive impact.

"It helps all of us when we can save lives," Wynn said. "In reality, we are here for not only the people of Ridgeland and Jasper County that we serve, but their pets as well. A pet is a family member. You almost have to treat it as you would a regular person, and we did. We are not just here for the people, we are here for every family member."

Kudos to the rescue efforts and we wish Mercy well.