Five individuals and one organization recently received the Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing. Becky Switzer of Ground Zero K9 Emergency Training Center; Dr. John Otto and Lee Fairchild of Friends for Folks; Boys Ranch Town; Brent Thackerson of Boys Town Ranch; and Cynthia Armstrong of the Humane Society of the United States were each presented with this award during the triennial ANIMAL Conference at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel for making noteworthy contributions to animal welfare in Oklahoma.
“The Kirkpatrick Honor for Animal Wellbeing is given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions toward the welfare of Oklahoma animals,” said foundation chairman Christian Keesee. “The prize has been given once before, in 2015, to Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue. This year, we are awarding five individuals and one non-profit organization. All will receive a $5,000 cash prize from the Kirkpatrick Foundation award fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and one, our final recipient, will receive the grand prize of $25,000. Recipients are comprised of volunteers, career professionals, and organizations.”
Dr. John Otto and Lee Fairchild: Friends for Folks
Some individuals use personal time, talent, and resources to go far beyond the call of duty on behalf of twin passions: animals and humans in need of help. For twenty-eight years, beginning at Lexington Correctional Center in Lexington, Oklahoma, Dr. John Otto and retired correctional officer and case manager Lee Fairchild have brought together inmates and un-adoptable dogs.
Becky Switzer of Ground Aero K9 Emergency Training Center won the grand prize.
The ANIMAL Conference is a two-day gathering held once every three years.
The Kirkpatrick Foundation, founded by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick, is a private foundation located in
Oklahoma City. Since 1955, the foundation has funded a wide range of endeavors, primarily in the arts, culture,
education, animal wellbeing, environmental conservation, and historic preservation.