Fetch Fido a Flight
When Vikki Smith moved to Oklahoma, she couldn’t help but notice quite a few stray dogs wandering about. She quickly learned that many area shelters were overcrowded. Even with local rescue programs addressing the issue, there still wasn’t the capacity to offset the number of strays taken in, many of which could end up euthanized. Vikki knew she had to do something to help these animals.
When discussing the issue with her family, many of whom live in Oregon, Vikki learned that the shelters there needed adoptable pets. It was not uncommon for families to visit virtually vacant shelters and leave empty handed because there simply were not enough animals available to adopt. Enter a match made in heaven.
Vikki started Fetch Fido a Flight by fundraising enough money to charter a plane to Oregon, delivering hundreds of animals to vacant shelters, and connecting these animals with their forever families. The organization hopes to fundraise enough money to sponsor one flight a month, sending several hundred animals on the journey of their lifetime. That is no small feat for when you add up flight fees, supplies, and return shipping fees for the kennels each flight costs nearly $20,000. Fetch Fido a Flight is run by 100% volunteers and every penny donated is used to help save animals’ lives.
The organization works strictly with verified Oklahoma shelters. Each animal must complete their hold time at the shelter in hopes their owner will claim them. If that doesn’t happen, and a rescue doesn’t pick them up, the shelter can submit a request to FFAF, in hopes they will be selected for a flight to their new home. Each animal must be healthy and non-aggressive to increase “adoptability” at its destination. Most often these passengers are large breed dogs and puppies. However cats and kittens are also frequent fliers. The animals aren’t the only winners here. This valuable program enables shelters to decrease their euthanasia numbers. It is truly a win, win, win situation – for shelters, the animals, and the adopting families.
2485 Oklahoma Animals
Kelly Williams of the Muskogee Animal Shelter has worked with Vikki on countless flights. Fetch Fido a Flight has enabled the shelter to save 167 animals, all of which were adopted to new families. Kelly says, “Vicki is very easy to work with and her heart is 100% in it for the animals. She has invested so much of her time and energy into setting up this organization to help Oklahoma animals. We look forward to every flight because we know that if an animal is selected it is 100% safe from euthanasia.”
To date, Fetch Fido a Flight has helped save 2485 Oklahoma animals, but Vikki firmly believes the only permanent solution to overcrowded animal shelters is responsible pet ownership. “Please, spay and neuter your pets. That is the only way we can really make a change,” she says. In the meantime, Vikki and her staff will continue their mission to fundraise for flights, and connect as many Oklahoma animals as possible with their new families across the United States.
To learn more go to fetchfidoaflight.com.