ATLANTA -- The Cardinals' charter plane took the players, coaches and staff across the country on Saturday for Sunday's game against the Falcons, along with all the necessary equipment.
It also carried one special box that had nothing to do with football.
The story begins when Marie Peck, founder of The Fetch Foundation, got a call from a firefighter in the Atlanta area who was originally from Mesa. He knew about The Fetch Foundation's FIDO bags -- a bag full of items to help first responders help an animal in distress, including a special oxygen mask -- and was hoping to get a donation to local firehouses.
Peck and partner Kim Sasso were willing to send 40. But 40 bags shipped cross-country is costly.
Then Peck remembered the Cardinals just happened to have an upcoming trip to Atlanta.
"When it comes to saving money and saving animals' lives, we've done just about anything," Peck said.
Peck posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew someone at the Cardinals. No one had that answer, but the team was tagged enough times that Peck soon got a call from Lisa Manning, the team's senior vice president of marketing. Yes, Peck was told, the FIDO bags could hitch a ride with the Cardinals.
When the Cardinals arrived in Georgia, Alex Temes of Gwinnett Fire & Emergency Services picked it up on the tarmac to distribute to stations across the area.
The oxygen mask has been used to save dogs, cats, geese, and "even a family of gerbils," Sasso said.