Fido Bags to save pet’s lives during an emergency

By Curtis Riggs | May 21, 2008 | Vol. 14 No. 21

F.A.R. program to get bags in hands of Valley agencies

CAVE CREEK/CAREFREE – Foothills Animal Rescue is playing an important role in helping firefighters and paramedics aid pets they may come across at a fire or medical emergency through the creation of the Fido Bag.

Fido Bags contain the medical equipment and other accessories to keep a pet safe and occupied at the scene of an accident.

Foothills Animal Rescue was asked to develop a fundraising program, which would lead to the bags being disseminated to fire departments Valley-wide. F.A.R. volunteer Marie Peck is heading up the program and raising money for the needed equipment. The cost to put together each Fido Bag is $175.

“Our goal is to blanket the Valley and have a Fido Bag on every fire truck,” Peck said. The program was created by the Glendale Fire Department.

Peck has done well in getting the bags into the hands of firefighters locally. Eight Fido Bags have been given to Rural Metro and the Daisy Mountain Fire Department has received six. Fire trucks at the Cave Creek and Carefree Rural Metro firehouses have Fido Bags on them.

“It’s great. Every one of us is a pet owner,” Rural Metro Battalion Chief John Kraetz said about firefighter’s attitudes towards the bags. “We hope other agencies would have them so they could provide help if our pets needed them.”

Animal Health Services veterinarians Drs. Cliff Favor and Rob Graham showed Rural Metro personnel how to use the breathing apparatus in the bag and how to find a vein on a dog or a cat last week.

“We come across them at fires or accidents,” Kraetz said referring to animals they may encounter at the scene. “People also panic and call us when they see one wandering in the desert.”

Fido Bags contain oxygen masks, which fit over the muzzles of dogs or cats, welding gloves for the emergency personnel to handle the pets safely, dog/cat toys, burn sheets, saline, collapsible water bowls and an assortment of pet leashes.

F.A.R. president Becky Didier credits Peck with the fine job she has done.

“I hope they make a difference in saving the lives of companion animals when the firefighters go out on calls,” she said.

Anyone wanting to donate to the Fido Bag Fund can call Peck at 602-617-2656 or the F.A.R. office at 480-488-9890.