Upstate Vet Specialties in Colonie donates rescue gear for pets

May 26, 2016

Albany Times-Union 


ALBANY, NY (Albany Times-Union) -

After escaping a fire, the first thing family members on two and four legs need is oxygen. Fire departments are equipped to help people, and oxygen masks are often too flat and small to fit the face of a pet.


For information about making a donation to the nonprofit the Fetch Foundation, go to


FIDO bags fill the needs of animals with a specialized breathing apparatus. The cone-shaped oxygen mask provides a secure seal around a pet's muzzle. Kits also come with specialized burn sheets, bandages, rinsing saline, protective restraints and a collapsible water dish.


Upstate Veterinary Specialities donated FIDO bags to fire departments in Loudonville and Saratoga Springs late last year. Earlier this month, donations were made to the Northside Fire District's F.B. Peck Hose Company and the Latham Volunteer Fire Department.


Furda is working to coordinate a donation on July 15 to the Verdoy Volunteer Fire Department, to coincide with National Pet Fire Rescue Day.

"Verdoy would respond to us in the case of a fire, which makes the donation even more meaningful," Furda said.


In addition to FIDO bag donations, the practice provides additional services to four-legged first responders and service animals. Principal Aaron Wey established the Angel Fund when he opened the practice in 2003. Administered with help from the nonprofit Veterinary Care Foundation, the fund collects donations used in situations where clients and patients are victims of house fires, have experienced great loss or in cases of neglect and abuse.

Ophthalmologist Christa Corbett has been busy donating her time and expertise this month as part of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists StokesRx Service Animal Eye Exam event, where eligible service animals receive free ocular screenings. For information, go to


Vader, a service dog from the Latham Fire Department, received his free eye exam at the clinic on Wednesday. The German shepherd was on hand when Upstate Veterinary Specialities donated two FIDO bags to his department.

"We want to make sure these working animals are healthy and able to serve and do what they do best," Furda said. "It's amazing what gifts people and animals have to bring to our community."

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