(PRESS RELEASE) AUSTIN, TX — Austin entrepreneur Kirby Holmes and his cousin Evan Daugherty will be featured on the television show “Shark Tank” on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. on ABC (CST).
Kirby and Evan are co-owners of Good Air Team LLC, an Austin-based company that created the world’s first air filter mask designed for dogs called K9 Mask. It is a wearable air filter mask for dogs to protect them from the short and long-term health dangers of breathing toxic air from smoke, ash, dust, smog, chemicals, allergens, and bacteria. Pet owners in an air pollution crisis can now choose pure air for their dogs.
“Anytime a person needs to wear an air filter mask, a dog in the same environment needs to be protected. People and their pets need to be better protected from extreme air pollution. Wildfires in places like California the last several years have unfortunately become the new normal. Finding solutions to air pollution problems, like wildfire smoke, is the number one goal of the Good Air Team. We are empowering dog owners with new solutions to protect their pet’s health.” says Kirby Holmes, CEO of the Good Air Team.
Growing Problem of Air Pollution for Pets
As a kid Kirby grew up traveling to southern California from Texas to visit his grandparents in the summer. Even in those days, wildfires burned on the hills around his grandparent’s neighborhood. Kirby was panicked as a boy knowing firefighters battled the blazes on the hills behind the house.
Recent wildfires across California have sparked concerns about protecting pets from the harmful effects of toxic smoke. Wildfire smoke is dangerous because it produces toxic air particles easily absorbed into the bloodstream when inhaled into the lungs. Smoke inhalation can contribute to health problems, including respiratory disease, lung cancer, and heart conditions. Other important uses for protecting dogs with a K9 Mask are dust storms, volcanic ash, tear gas, chemical spills, red tide brevotoxins, pollinating vegetation, allergens, bacteria, mold, and fungus.
How Does a K9 Mask Work?
The Good Air Team is solving air pollution problems by providing dogs with an alternative to poor air quality. The K9 Mask is designed for the shape of a dog’s snout. Each K9 Mask size has adjustable neck and muzzle straps to fit various dog breeds. The replaceable “Extreme Breathe” air filters used in the K9 Mask have four-layers of air filtration to purify inhaled air. The filters can protect dogs using the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control) standards for toxic air filtration by using N95 (95% filtration of all non-oil-based air pollutants) with PM2.5 (particulate matter that is less than 2.5 microns in diameter) and activated carbon for absorbing toxic chemical particles. Using an exhaust valve, panting dogs can release hot exhaled air from the mask. The K9 Mask is washable and is effective as a muzzle to keep dogs from biting in stressful situations often associated with a natural disaster crisis.
What About the Coronavirus?
The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that pets do not appear to be easily infected by COVID-19, with only 65 testing positive for the disease in the United States. Still, these scattered COVID-19 cases in pets, including a North Carolina pug, a Yorkie in Texas, and a German Shepherd in New York, are giving many dog owners pause. Most of the cases of pets testing positive for the virus are those in close contact with known pet owners who are positive with COVID-19.
What Do Veterinarians Say About a Mask for Dogs?
Some veterinarians have dismissed the use of air filter masks for dogs because they have only considered trying to fit a human mask on a dog. The shape of a human face and a dog snout are obviously different, making a human mask on a dog ineffective. The K9 Mask is created to fit the shape of a dog’s muzzle so it will be secure and effective on a snout. Both veterinarians and the Good Air Team agree the mask should be worn on a dog for short periods of time and with visual monitoring to protect a dog from possibly overheating.
K9 Mask Made in the USA
Successfully funding a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in March of 2019, the Good Air Team fully funded its first production run. All manufacturing for the K9 Mask is done in the USA. The K9 Mask air filter for dogs is currently protected with a provisional patent, and a utility patent for the mask has already been filed. They have generated over $280,000 in sales through the website www.K9Mask.com and Amazon.com.