Beginning as an organization that provided a low cost or sometimes even free spay and neuter program, the Friends of Guthrie Animals (FOGAS) has grown and plays an important role in Logan County. Founded by Von Coburn, local real estate agent, and the late Dr. Denise Travis, formerly with Guthrie Pet Hospital, FOGAS was formed in 2000 to fill the need primarily as a spay and neuter program. All members are 100% volunteer.
Coburn explains how FOGAS came into existence.
“Channel 4 was doing a story over the animal shelter here in Guthrie. The shelter was in dire straits,” shared Coburn. “My husband said, ‘that’s what you’re passionate about and you need to do something with that.’ I called the animal control office and that’s how I started almost 20 years ago.”
Since animal control in Guthrie is limited to the city limits, FOGAS also helps with strays in Logan County. This includes animals that have been abandoned.
“We have to work very closely with the Logan County Sheriff’s department on situations like that,” said Kim Barrett, vice president of FOGAS. “We have broken up puppy mills and rescued many animals. We do everything from (animal) rescue to trying to educate the community. We’re also working with the city on a possible bill to have residents inside the city limits have their pets spayed or neutered if they can’t prove they are a licensed breeder.”
It’s not just dogs and cats FOGAS cares for. They’ve even rescued more unique animals like turtles and rabbits to name a few. Because of their large role in animal rescue they are always in need of volunteers and foster families.
To foster an animal, interested people can simply fill out an application and upon passing a simple inspection, they can serve as foster families. The families are asked to keep up with medical needs of the animals along with their everyday care. FOGAS will provide basic items needed to help a family start fostering like crates, dog beds, and pet food.
Caring for animals is expensive, thus raising funds are much needed.
“We are totally fundraising supported. We don’t get any financial support from the city or county. Our volunteers pitch in and help with everything,” Barrett explained. “We meet once a month. We have committees who do public education, promotions, and fundraising. All board members also give financially.”
Because they are totally dependent on fundraisers they have several throughout the year. On November 2 they will host the Hair of the Dog Pub Crawl. For only 20 dollars people will enjoy dinner, several bar stops, pull boards and scavenger hunt and there will also be a costume contest. With the fee, you will also receive a t-shirt and will be able to bid on items in the silent auction.
“We need active volunteers, we need foster homes, we need money, anything people can help with,” said Coburn.
To learn more about FOGAS see their Facebook page at friendsofguthrieanimals,inc, their webpage www.friendsofguthrieanimals.org or call 405-282-1520.