Originally posted Dec 27, 2007
This person was nominated as a member of the Central Indiana community who has made a difference in the lives of others:
A friend to dogs kept outside
Name: Darcie Kurtz.
Role: Dog lover and founder of Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, or FIDO.
The difference: Kurtz founded FIDO a couple of years ago and has developed this all-volunteer, nonprofit organization into a successful group that assists low-income dog owners with care of their dogs kept outside. The group primarily helps get the animals off chains and into a house or securely behind fences.
Kurtz was instrumental in obtaining nonprofit status for FIDO and has been able to acquire grants to purchase fencing, fence panels and dog kennels.
She networks with pet supply companies and veterinary clinics to obtain donated dog food and other supplies. She helps implement biweekly FIDO Neighborhood Outreach Days, when volunteers go door-to-door to offer assistance in targeted low-income neighborhoods.
Kurtz’s abundance of energy and devotion to helping dogs and their owners enabled her to expand the pool of dedicated FIDO volunteers. For example, a recent recruit coordinated a successful doghouse-building day using surplus Habitat for Humanity materials. Another recruit coordinated upgrades to the FIDO Web site, fidoindy.org.
Kurtz has established partnerships with other shelters and rescue groups so dogs surrendered to FIDO by their owners can be given a second chance. She has developed a partnership with a local veterinary clinic for low-cost services for dogs that FIDO serves. She even fosters dogs that have been surrendered to FIDO.
Nominated by: Marie Koenig.
This article appeared in the “Star Neighbors” column of The Indianapolis Star Dec. 27. Reprinted with permission.
(c) Copyright 2007, The Indianapolis Star. All Rights Reserved.