A life-saving dog resuscitation caught on camera in California after a house fire was only made possible because of a clever Kiwi innovation.

The dramatic video of fire fighter Matt Smith reviving a little white dog named Jack quickly went viral and news stations also screened the heartwarming clip.

The unique pet oxygen mask used by the Bakersfield CA Fire Department to save Jack is the invention of New Zealand company McCulloch Medical NZ.

Inventor Richard McCulloch said the viral video wasn't the first he had seen.


"I have seen the mask used in a few rescues now and it does you the world of good when their tails start wagging," he said.

McCulloch said the idea came to him when he saw someone attached to an oxygen mask in hospital.

"I thought: why haven't we got something like this for animals?"

McCulloch spoke to vets and developed the unique sealed face masks for foals.

Masks were also designed for smaller animals and the Fire Service in California came knocking because if the high loss of pet lives in common scrub fires.

He had since sold more than 100,000 and they are used in all 50 US states.

McCulloch is the son of award-winning New Zealand inventor Norma McCulloch.

In the late 1960s she invented a vacuum pump to remove air from freezer bags -
something used in almost every household in New Zealand.


Later Norma used the same pump technology with her invention the "Breath of Life" - a hand-held resuscitator that won her 12 international awards.

She came up with the idea after Richard came across a crash scene and gave mouth to mouth resuscitation to a woman left bloodied and not breathing.

Norma was recognised as one of the top 10 female inventors in the world at the Global Women's Innovator and Inventor Awards in Britain in 2003.

Richard McCulloch says he's seen the device in the vide in use a few times now and it's always a thrill.
Richard McCulloch says he's seen the device in the vide in use a few times now and it's always a thrill.

When Norma passed away in 2010 her obituary read: McCULLOCH, Norma Doris. Inventor, Designer, Entrepreneur, Exporter, Author and TV personality.

Richard McCulloch said the pet oxygen mask used to save Jack was available in New Zealand but not yet carried on fire trucks here.

He was planning to donate one to the Devonport Fire Service who revived a pet cat after a house fire last year.


Hunter the cat was hooked up to a paediatric mask for an hour after fire gutted the Devonport house belonging to the Lusis family.

"I'd like to donate one to them so if it happens again they will have the right equipment," McCulloch said.