Monday, February 28, 2011


 The following is a guest post based on an email we received from Ms. Baddgor today February 28. The sponsorship was made and posted under our previous blog post 'Departments That Received Pet Oxygen Masks in November 2010.' It is always heartwarming to hear that one of the pet oxygen mask kits we send out to the Wag'N world helps make a difference in a pets' life. We are thrilled and immensely grateful to hear that this department has gone above and beyond their duties to help pay for this kitten's care and help this family in need. Without further due, here is Ms. Baddgor's story:
My name is Connie Stoddard-Baddgor, I am an Area Pet Training Instructor with PetSmart at store #131 in Phoenix, AZ.  In this email you will find a story accompanied by some photo’s.  I think you will find this story worth reading.
A friend of mine, Jen Stultz, who is also a teacher and a Phoenix Fire Dept. Crisis Response (PFDCR)Volunteer, shared some of her experiences as a volunteer in regards to the death of pets during emergencies; fires, floods, hoarding, etc.  She expressed the emotional devastation that people experience due to the loss of their family pet from these horrific situations.  Many times, she explained, pets do die despite heroic efforts of the volunteers and first responders as they are not properly equipped to handle animals in need of oxygen or resuscitation.  Jen asked me what I knew about pet oxygen masks, I hadn't really thought about it before...I realized through this discussion that what she was telling me could very well affect my family....I had to ask myself, how I would feel if it were one of my dogs?
With that, I told her I would do my best to help.  Upon returning to my store, I spoke with the other two trainers.  It was unanimous!  We’d make it happen.  Myself and my trainers Ricky Dennis and Allison Kinsall  set about on a mission to educate as many employees as we could on the subject. The goal was to purchase as many kits as possible, donate and have them in hand by the end of 2010. From mid Oct. to Thanksgiving we’d collected donations from the employees & families of PetSmart #131. After much frustration, phone time, red tape and endless runarounds, I was finally able to locate and purchase 6 complete kits. We purchased these through the O2 Fur Life Program presented by Wagn’ Enterprises.
I was invited to the Phoenix Fire Dept. Administration building in downtown Phoenix, on Monday Feb. 7th at 6 p.m. in order to present our oxygen kits.  Myself along with my dog Bohden, my two trainers and Dr. Dusty Kotter (Banfield, @ #1039) went to present the donations.  We provided a power point presentation, written materials. Bohden helped demonstrate use of the oxygen masks.  Dr. Kotter, was there to demonstrate how to find a pulse on an animal, explain animal CPR as well as answer medical questions the volunteers had. We gave 3 kits to the Fire Battalion Chief and 3 to the Crisis Response Team.
The donation was greatly received.  I also sent a press release to the local news stations in order to bring attention to the need for this equipment.  FOX 10 News came and interviewed the PFDCR coordinator, DC Ernst as well as myself.  However, we have yet to see it air.  We (the employees & their families of PetSmart #131) were presented with a plaque of appreciation from the Phoenix Fire Dept. 
Below you will find a photo taken by a free lance photographer at the donation presentation.  
(Front ctr: Bohden, 1st row: Jen Stultz, Dr. Kotter, Connie
 Stoddard-Baddgor, back row: Allison Kinsall, Ricky Dennis)
The second picture here below is a photo of the first life saved by one of our kits!  It happened Feb. 19th (12 days later) during a house fire.  The kitten was subsequently taken to a local vet and treated.  The bill was $400.  The family had lost everything and had no money to pay.  The Fire Dept. took up donations amongst the local stations and paid the bill.  The kitten has been reunited with it's family.
Kitten saved using the pet oxygen mask
Ultimately, aside from the obvious reasons, there is another story about how change can happen.
One person shared an experience to another, who then shared it with a few more.  Then a whole group became aware, educated and involved. The results: money and awareness raised, proper equipment acquired to fill a need. ...Lives Saved!...That's how change happens.

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