Generous donors mean Oahu firefighters getting pet-saving kits

Sep 21, 2015

Honolulu Fox Channel 10


HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Update - Within an hour of this story airing on Hawaii News Now at 5 p.m. Friday, two generous Honolulu residents showed up at our studios to pay for the remaining Fido bags. Lance and Lisa Nishihara wrote a check for $875 to the Fetch Foundation. This donation means 23 Fido bags can be donated to the Honolulu Fire Department. The Nishihara's who both work at Momilani Elementary School, say they are proud pet owners and hope that lives will be saved because of their donation.

It was just a few days after Christmas last year, when Gabie Vossler's 2-year old pups Odie & Mitzy were killed in a house fire in North Carolina. Vossler and her husband were on vacation so the dogs were staying with a friend.

"Got lost in the smoke and didn't make it out," she says, "But we were told they were still together and that made me happy that they weren't apart."

Months later, Vossler learned about the Fido Bag. A kit with lifesaving equipment for pets.

"Goes over the animals muzzle," explains Vossler, "That's really crucial for saving their life because a human mask just doesn't... it’s too flat to work."

Some fire departments on the mainland have a bag accessible at every station. Captain Forrest Smith, from Mesa, Arizona remembers saving two dogs using the gear.

"Found both pets unconscious, underneath the bed," he describes, "We started delivering high flow oxygen, just by doing that alone, saved their lives."

Vossler's husband recently got a job at the Queen's Medical Center on Oahu and Vossler made it her mission to get Fido bags for Honolulu firefighters.

"Any dog owner, cat owner or pet owner knows they just become part of your family," She says.

Vossler is working with a non-profit called the Fetch Foundation which helps raise money for Fido bags. Each cost $125. So far, Vossler has raised enough money for 16 bags. She needs 7 more before they can start the process of getting them to 23 Oahu stations. Honolulu has a rule that every stations have to have the same equipment so the bags can't be distributed until all are paid for.

Training for firefighters will take about an hour and include a video.

The Honolulu Fire Department says they have been contacted by Vossler and The Fetch Foundation and are interested in learning more about the bags but are waiting for an official proposal from the organization before being able to accept the items.

"It just changes you after you go through something so traumatic or tragic like losing a family pet." says Vossler who hopes that she can raise the last $875 by the end of the year.

If you want to donate click here: In the comments section, note that you want the money to go toward Fido Bags for Oahu. 




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