About us

Grey Bear in the snow

Grey Bear

Sherman

Otis as a puppy

Ralph

Otis and Gladys

Our rescue dogs who inspired Fur Should Fly

Fur Should Fly is a community of like-minded folks engaged in collaboratively developing sustainable solutions:  Our mission is to contribute monetarily to rescues and shelters supporting animals in need, improving their lives. We are a business fundraiser for Best Friends Animal Society in support of their No-Kill mission.  For a more in-depth understanding of our innovative ideas we invite you to read more about our mission.

Fur Should Fly would like to share with you some of the names and faces of the folks that believed in us from the very beginning of our two year journey to launching our first animal themed gifts. Our friends encouraged and supported us all along the unfolding journey, helping us shape our mission and test out our artists’ cheeky art.

Strangers responded to our posts on our community list-serves when we reached out for specific help with writing skills, social media and computer technology. We continue to be blessed many times over to have just the right people selflessly donate their skills and time to help shape us into the company we are today. We are grateful beyond measure...

Lesley Bracker, co-founder and owner Fur Should Fly

Our Artists, Connie Townsend and Julie Ireland (co-founder): Julie and Connie, your art and humor are the reasons Fur Should Fly exists. Thank you for allowing us to share your art and your love for animals.

Our first contributing artist to Afterglow, Monique van de Ven:  We are honored and humbled by the gift of her watercolors as a first contributor to Afterglow. We feel it is important to share the art of terminally ill people out into the world, giving life to their art.  It is a comfort to know that their creative spirits live on.

 

 

 

Monique with dog
Monique van de Ven

Monique van de Ven is an artist whose creative interests encompassed many media including wood, clay and watercolors. Monique is the first contributing artist to Afterglow which is made up exclusively of terminally ill artists who want their work to continue being shared. The gifting of Monique's beautiful watercolors to Fur Should Fly will allow her art to continue making a contribution to animals in need, helping them to find a forever-home.

 

Julie with Grey Bear
Julie Ireland

Julie Ireland is a long-time lover of and advocate for animals and has provided a home for many since she was very young.  She has volunteered her photography and graphic design skills to several area rescues, covering events for their social media and also doing ‘portraiture’ of the dogs and cats in search of their forever-homes.  Julie is passionate about her photography, especially when it involves animals (and the people who love them).  Fur Should Fly was born out of the amazing story behind the amazing rescue dog, Grey Bear…it is a wonderful privilege to have been one of the founders of this exciting new business, designed to help the thousands of sweet animals who, like him, just want to be loved, cared for and protected.

Julie lives with Grey Bear, his brother Otis (a Newf), his new sister, Sasha (an English Cocker) and two fluffy cats, Bevis and Chuck.

 


Connie Townsend with dog
Connie Townsend

Connie Townsend is known for her colorful oils depicting dogs and cats who may be seen driving vintage vehicles, or drinking cappuccino. Her works are represented by four of the country's finest art galleries. She has been helping to raise money locally for homeless pets by donating her art to numerous venues in Northern Arizona since 1998. To realize that her career as an artist could be instrumental in improving the quality of animal lives was her life’s big “Ah Ha!” moment. “ I’m honored to be recognized by Fur Should Fly as fuel for the cause. Their vision for helping animals is on a scale I’d never imagined. Let’s drive this puppy Home.”

 


Bonna kayaking with dog
Bonna Wieler

Bonna Wieler is our editor and creator of website copy.  Bonna’s valuable writing skills and tireless review of our mission and written copy on our website is a testament to her belief in Fur Should Fly. She is always happy to answer late night phone calls and work into the wee hours. Bless you Bonna for all your valuable time...

Through her business Bold Paths Adventure, Bonna helps connect people with the natural world through outdoor education, adventures, natural arts, and river celebrations.  Teaching kayaking, team building, river studies and cross-country skiing, she facilitates adult and children camp experiences and organizes community events such as River Celebrations.

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Molly with dog

          Molly Chase

Molly Chase first came to Fur Should Fly when her fiber interests led her to stay at the alpaca farm.  Since that first visit, she has repeatedly returned to assist with alpacas and offer technical support for Fur Should Fly. She hopes someday to run her own alpaca farm, and to work with fiber and animals for the rest of her life.  As an artistic person, Molly has her creative designs in an Etsy store, WallflowerBlossoms.

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Doug with dog
Doug Lufkin

Doug Lufkin is our Graphic Designer.  All that needs saying is that we have the very best graphic designer. Thank you for fine tuning and uploading our designs, designing our hang tag for our wearable art as well as the soon-to-be backs of our greeting cards. But most of all we love our LOGO!

Doug, of Lufkin Graphic Designs, lives and works in Norwich, VT. He's helped develop the Fur Should Fly logo, and prepared the artists' distinctive works for printing on shirts and cards. When he's not being creative for his clients, he's often goofing off with his dog, Buttercup. You can see more of his design work on his website.

 


Emma with cat
Emma Lumley

Emma Lumley  is our color consultant, copy writer, including but not limited to our Fur Should Fly blog, and last but not least, our technical support go-to person. Thank you for sharing all of your talents, Emma, you're the best!

Emma is a cat lady who lives with her partner and 3 kitties. For a while they resided on Lesley's farm. She loves the ideas and passion behind the creation of Fur Should Fly, and hopes to start her own farm sanctuary someday soon. When she wasn't providing impromptu tech support for the business, you could find her reading, knitting, painting, and communing with her animals and the alpacas.

 

 


a cat hiding in a pot
Beauty in a Bucket

Michael Lunter is our Social Media Aficionado and we will be consulting with him to share our mission  and animal themed gifts through platforms on facebook, instagram, twitter and youtube.  Now the fun begins - creating copy and posting photo’s… Thank you for joining the team Michael!

With over 15 years of Computer IT Industry experience serving in a wide range of technical roles for small business startups to leading, global corporations alike, Michael elected to leave the structured office environment to focus on providing personalized consulting services for residential and small business clients. Recently signed on with Fur Should Fly, Michael provides the team with expert technical guidance and digital marketing outreach.

 


Joni B. Cole headshot
Joni B. Cole

Joni Cole offered her talents at a very pivotal time in our development as a company. With her insights we where able make decisions that created the foundation of our branding.  Thank you Joni we love our company name...

Author and writing instructor Joni B. Cole runs the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont.  A Pushcart Prize nominee, her most recent book is a collection of personal essays, Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love and Neurotic Human Behavior.  Joni is also the author of Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive; and the founding creator of the acclaimed "This Day" book series. She serves on the faculty of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and is a frequent speaker at MFA programs and conferences around the country.

For more info, email jonibethcole@gmail.com or visit:  jonibcole.com

 


Daryl Jones, Lesley's sister, and Dee Rovzar, Lesley's mom, have been incredibly supportive with the launching of the business.

Daryl with dog

Daryl Jones

Dee with cat

Dee Rovzar

Lesley’s personal note acknowledging her family, her biggest supporters: Daryl and Dee, my sister and mom, were always cheering us on as we did research on the internet and made just the right connections, getting our infrastructure in place. They each offered suggestions on everything from our company name to how our logo looks. Of course they got roped into modeling our t-shirts with our artists’ designs and shared opinions on which ones might be our best sellers. Thank you both for all the hand holding and words of encouragement and for believing in us and being a part of the creative process. Most of all I wish to thank my mom, she is the reason I have such a heart for animals--she loved them all and taught me to do the same.

 


Lesley Bracker owner of Fur Should Fly, co-founder, Certified Animal Massage Therapist, and late night rescuer on Facebook, and yes, she has adopted two more kitties. She is now officially banned from FB late at night.

Lesley with alpaca

From stray dogs to injured birds and bunnies, Lesley has always tried to save them all. As a child she and her grandmother tended to many in grandma’s kitchen and under the pine tree in the backyard, and as an adult she has been known to sleep in a tent with an injured sheep named Eden.

Lesley has launched her own businesses all of her life, the most recent her Animal Massage business Heart, Mind and Tail. She continues to do private sessions for clients who are special needs, she has a heart for those who would benefit from massage and she is a firm believer in their ability to heal.

One of Lesley’s biggest passions in her life is to build a successful company and to be able to donate a portion of the profits to enrich the lives of animals in need.  Her company Fur Should Fly offers unlimited potential to raise revenue which can be channeled into organizations, rescues and businesses that directly benefit animals.  Fur Should Fly is now in a position to donate a portion of our net profits as we open our online shop. Yes, we are excited!

Now it’s time for Fur Should Fly to soar.

Lesley’s other passions include Sherman, Ralph, Shirley, a herd of cats and of course her alpacas.

Lesley with Eden and Gaia

Lesley with Eden and Gaia

Lesley with Grey Bear

Lesley with Grey Bear

Lesley with horse

Lesley and her Percheron named Spring

Lesley with Eldorado

Lesley with Eldorado