Shelters Working Together
Sometimes animal rescue partners help each other to help the pets we serve. Sometimes that just means talking through our challenges, taking in transfers from each other, or sharing good ideas.
Occasionally, there are more urgent situations where we pull together to do what is needed. Last month, such a situation here on the western slope required shelters and rescues from across the state to work as a team. With populations at or near capacity in most shelters, this story is a testament to the hearts of shelter people.
Some background: Colorado Humane Society was contacted by local law enforcement about a situation where someone had over 30 dogs. The party was being evicted, and the dogs and puppies on the property would need to be removed. CHS is a program of Dumb Friends League that handles cruelty and neglect investigations in most counties around the state. From there, The League reached out to shelters to ask for placement of the dogs.
After DDFL and CHS evaluated the situation and worked out the logistics, the plan was set. One August morning, shelter representatives met at a nearby parking lot, and waited for dogs to be put into kennels and brought to them. Six shelters took in dogs and puppies. Several others took transfers to create room for the incoming dogs. In all, there were 36 dogs placed. Several were pregnant females, so more arrived when the females gave birth at the shelter.
The placement of dogs started a week earlier when Montrose Shelter took in 5 puppies and a pregnant female. A week later, they took in another 4 dogs. They gained 10 puppies after one of the females gave birth, putting their total at 20 dogs for this rescue!
Shelters that were able to help include Mesa County Animal Services, Colorado Animal Rescue in Glenwood Springs, Eagle County Animal Services, Journey Home Animal Care Center in Rifle, Dumb Friends League, Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region, Roice-Hurst Humane Society in Mesa County, Montrose Animal Shelter, and Second Chance Humane Society in Ridgway.
Now that the urgency of the situation has passed, shelters are able to evaluate the dogs and start getting them ready to find forever homes. Most of the dogs were in fairly good health, considering they had not had ongoing access to food, water, shade, and care. Socially, they range from very unsocial to immediately adoptable. All shelters will continue to nurture these pets both physically and emotionally.
Saving these dogs is the best part of the story. The second best part is how shelters and rescues worked together to create this happy end.
Katie Parker with DDFL says, “It was a great example of everyone coming together and going above and beyond, while not jeopardizing their own work and community’s needs. We resolved a tough case together.”
Rhiannon Rowe, Shelter Manager at Eagle County Animal Services shared, “I think the shelters on the western slope work very well together, and I am thankful that we have such a great shelter community that works hard to help each other out.”
Kevin Bozarth, from Mesa County Animal Services, agrees, “We all do this for the good of the animals and the best way to accomplish this is to help each other out.”
Thanks to everyone who helped. We were able to create a happy outcome from an unfortunate situation for a group of lucky dogs.