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Published: Oct 26, 2011

A serious fire broke out recently in Wasau, Wisconsin, and firefighters on the scene managed to rescue an unconscious Labrador retriever using mount-to-snout resuscitation, MSNBC reports.

Although firefighter Jamie Giese had no medical equipment on site to try and revive the animal, which had inhaled a significant amount of smoke, he did what he would do for his human patients - administer mouth-to-mouth, or in this case, mouth-to-snout resuscitation.

"I have never been trained in that," Giese told the publication. "I've seen it on TV and pictures in the newspapers and things like that. We thought [the dog] was dead. We could tell he was trying to breathe, and our training for humans is airway, breathing, circulation. We had no tools handy, so it was mouth-to-snout."

After a few sets of the technique, the dog started breathing on its own again, at which time a human oxygen mask was put on for added support. Shortly after, the dog, Koda, was taken to a local VCA Companion Care Animal Hospital where he received fluids and vets there gave him a pet exam to check his overall pet health.

Between 40,000 and 150,000 pets die each year in fires, many from smoke inhalation, according to a study from the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association, The Huffington Post reports. Some national organizations are now advocating the use of pet oxygen masks to reduce these high numbers.