11-year-old girl receives award, grant, for donating pet oxygen masks to 22 fire departments
SACRAMENTO, CA (August 5, 2008) – United Animal Nations (UAN), a national animal protection organization, today issued its prestigious Animals’ Choice Award to 11-year-old Monica Plumb of Powhatan County, Virginia for donating pet oxygen masks to 22 fire departments in the United States and Canada.
Monica Plumb, UAN’s 2008 Animals’ Choice Award winner, has donated more than 40 pet oxygen masks to fire departments in the U.S. and Canada. Here she is demonstrating a mask with the Chesterfield (VA) Fire Company.
UAN presents the Animals’ Choice Award annually to an individual who advocates for animals beyond the scope of his or her profession or school responsibilities. Last year, Monica began raising money to buy oxygen masks specially designed for dogs, cats and other animals for her local fire department.
But what started locally has become an international enterprise. To date, Monica has donated more than 40 mask kits — which include reusable masks in small, medium and large sizes and a carrying case – to fire departments in nine states and one Canadian province. She has 30 more kits on order. In July, firefighters in
“Monica’s efforts to help animal victims of fire align perfectly with UAN’s mission to help animals affected by disasters and other crises,” said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “We can’t think of a more deserving and appropriate recipient of the Animals’ Choice Award.”
United Animal Nations provides temporary emergency sheltering to victims of natural disasters through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) and financial assistance to disaster victims who need help caring for their pets through the LifeLine Grant program.
Monica, who aspires to be a veterinarian, started her fundraising campaign after seeing a local news story about a household fire in which a dog was saved by a firefighter using a pet oxygen mask. “I always wanted to help animals but I was too young to volunteer at a shelter,” Monica said. “So when my dad showed me that news story I thought this would be a very good thing to raise money for.”
Monica has used collection cans, fliers, yard sales, her school talent show and a Web site her father built, www.petmask.com, to raise money for the masks. The $500 grant that accompanies the Animals’ Choice Award will help Monica expand her fundraising efforts to help even more fire departments. Monica is entering the sixth grade and has eight pets: a cat, four rats and three fish.
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education.