March 2011: Founded
June 2011: Donation to Detroit Dog Rescue
Although other worthy organizations were nominated and considered, the members engaged in thoughtful discussion and chose to support this organization for a few reasons.
1. The scope of the stray dog problem in Detroit is massive. According to Detroit Dog Rescue, there are 50,000 – 100,000 stray dogs running loose in the streets of Detroit, and only 23 animal care workers to rescue them. Over 90% of dogs picked up in Detroit are euthanized.
2. Detroit Dog Rescue is a new organization tackling this massive problem, and they need funds to get their movement started. This was a great opportunity for our group to help start a new project that is going to make a huge difference for the dogs of Detroit.
3. A member interviewed the founder and felt confident about their motivation and skills to accomplish this massive undertaking. We were all quite impressed with the amount of publicity and funds they’ve already raised for this shelter.
September 2011: Donation to Longhopes Donkey Shelter
Of course this non-profit tugged at our heart strings. I mean, who doesn’t love a donkey? Located in Bennett, Colorado, this shelter has rescued over 500 donkeys and adopted 450 of them in the last 10 years. During our evaluation process, we discovered that Long Hopes Donkey Shelter had all their ducks in a row. They were easy to contact, had all their financial information available on-line, and had low non-program expenses.
We also loved the idea that we could sponsor an individual donkey. We chose Charity in large part because of her name. Doesn’t Charity seem kind of appropriate?? We also chose her because we like to support the senior citizens of the animal world who have a tough row to hoe.We’ve covered her room and board for one year, but if she got adopted in the meantime, we wouldn’t feel bad at all.
In fact, is your home in need of a donkey???
December 2011: Donation to Denkai Animal Sanctuary
Denkai Animal Sanctuary provides a home to more than 200 horses, dogs, cats and other animals received from shelters, rescue groups and owners no longer able to care for their pets from around the United States. They have two facilities, one located near Greeley, CO and the other in Grover, Colorado surrounded by the beautiful and serene Pawnee National Grasslands. They are the leading no-kill shelter in their area.
They’re not content to just serve animals. Through area youth programs, Denkai Animal Sanctuary teaches young people about compassion for animals and along the way helping at-risk youth to stay in and avoid drug and alcohol abuse.
March 2012: Donation to Companion Animal Advocates
Companion Animal Advocates discovered that people were surrendering their pets to the animal shelters because they couldn’t afford to feed them. Believing that keeping pets out of already crowded animal shelters and in their homes was the best course of action, they created a program to provide free pet food and kitty litter to low income people in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Since 2008, they have provided 268,720 bowls of food. In addition, they have a low cost and no cost spay and neutering services and a program that provide pet oxygen masks to local fire departments and EMT’s, who are prevented by law from using state funding to purchase supplies that don’t specifically save human lives.
We like this organization because it is 100% volunteer and for the last several years they have been passionately committed to helping the pet owners in their community. They are also a small organization, and we knew that our $600 donation was going to make a huge impact for them. And we were right, they were just thrilled when we called to let them know they won our vote.
June 2012: Donation to Kindness Ranch
Kindness Ranch gives these animals a chance for a new life. As a sanctuary, many former lab animals will live out their lives on this 1,000 acre ranch in Wyoming taken care of by loving hands and given the room to run and do the kinds of things animals are supposed to do. Some of their animals are available for adoption, but many of the dogs and cats require quite a bit of rehabilitation as they are not used to things like leashes, going to the bathroom outside, and friendly affection from people.
We feel great about giving these animals the opportunity to be animals!
September 2012: Donation to PetAid Colorado
PetAid Colorado has two main services. One is to provide subsidized veterinary care for Colorado residents. They have a veterinary hospital in Denver where residents can visit, they have a mobile vet clinic they use to visit pet owners who are home bound, and they reimburse veterinarians around the state for providing below cost care for the low income in their community.
We believe strongly in this part of their mission, but it wasn’t just that. They also assist Colorado communities during emergencies with caring for displaced and injured pets. Many of our members have close connections to the Northern Colorado area, so when we were impacted by a large and devastating fire, we saw how difficult it was for people displaced by the fire to care for their pets. PetAid’s advice and assistance helped many of those animals, and their help was deeply appreciated.
Additionally, they had a matching donation opportunity, so our $672.50 would be equivalent to $1,345. We are delighted to support this great charity!
December 2012: Donation to Freedom Service Dogs
Freedom Service Dogs made its 3rd consecutive appearance as a nominee, before being chosen as our charity. It wasn’t because they weren’t great! We just have so many great charities to consider that sometimes it takes a little time to support all of them.
We’re delighted to support this great charity in their mission is to train dogs to aid disabled military veterans. One of our favorite features is that all dogs in the training program are rescued from shelters. What an opportunity for a homeless dog!
Emergency Donation December 2012: St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
We put aside a little bit of our donations every month so that we can help animals in an emergency situation. During Hurricane Sandy, hundreds and maybe thousands of pets were separated from their owners. After Hurricane Sandy, many families had to move into a new house. If the new landlord did not allow pets, those pets needed temporary but long-term care until the family was in a position to take their pet back.
St. Hubert’s stepped in to help. They ran the Lost Sandy Pet program and helped find long-term foster situations and pay for the ongoing food, supplies, and health care for those fosters. Thanks, St. Hubert’s for stepping up to take care of pets during this disaster!
March 2013: Colorado Animal Rescue Express (C.A.R.E.)
Twice a week, C.A.R.E. arranges and provides the safe transportation of dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in Colorado and neighboring states to rescue groups or foster homes. C.A.R.E. works with over 110 rescue organizations who commit to taking the homeless animals into foster care for proper assessment and placement.
An average transport consists of renting multiple vans in various locations to move approximately 20 animals. At this time, C.A.R.E. is primarily transporting animals from rural Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Nebraska.
At the time of our donation, they had done 762 transports, saved 14,687 dogs, 931 cats, helped 1,531 dogs through Jake’s fund with medical care and provided 4,151 free or low cost neuters.
Emergency April 2013: Denkai Animal Sanctuary
Denkai Animal Sanctuary purchased 640 acres near Grover, Colorado in 2008. This land allows them to rescue horses, donkeys, and other farm animals as well as provide shelter for hard to place dogs. Many of their large animals come from the municipality when abused, neglected, and/or abandoned animals are impounded. Others are rescued while they are headed to the slaughter house. Denkai then finds these animals new homes.
Denkai was in danger of losing this land, because the balloon on their note was coming due. We decided to help them raise the money they needed, because without this land, they couldn’t continue their work.
June 2013: Equine Voices and Northern Colorado Friend of Ferals
Sometimes we can’t choose just one charity, and this month was one of those times.
Equine Voices rescues and find homes for Premarin mares and their foals. Premarin is a drug made from a hormone found in the urine of pregnant horses. Premarin farms keep mares pregnant and confined for their entire lives in order to collect the urine and make the drug. After these horses can’t be used to make the drug, they are sold to slaughter houses. Equine Voices buys these horses to give them a chance at having a normal life.
Northern Colorado Friend of Ferals is reducing the population of feral cats in Northern Colorado by implementing a Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) program. Feral cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, their ear notched to indicate that they’ve been treated, and released back to the place they were trapped. TNR programs can be highly controversial, but here’s an article I wrote last year about TNR and some of the myths about cats and living in the wild. In the past three years, they’ve seen a 20% reduction in the number of cats showing up at the local animal shelters!
September 2013: Humane Society of South Platte Valley
Humane Society of South Platte Valley is a No Kill and Open Admission shelter doing such a great job that they pick up animals from at capacity shelters from around the state for medical treatment, behavior rehabilitation, and adoption through their facility.
Emergency Donation: Longmont Humane Society
Located in Longmont, Colorado Longmont Humane Society was hit hard by the historic flood. Hundreds of pets needed shelter and food until they could be reunited with their owners. This, of course, cost them a lot in unexpected expenses, and we were delighted we had some money tucked away in our emergency budget to help out.
December 2013: Greenwood Wildlife Rehab and National Mill Dog Rescue
Sometimes we can’t choose just one charity, and this month was one of those times.
Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is devoted to the rehabilitation and release of orphaned, injured and sick wildlife. They are the largest wildlife rehabilitation center of this kind in Colorado, each year treating approximately 2,300 mammals and songbirds representing more than 135 different wildlife species.
They also provide outreach programs for audiences of all ages regarding rehabilitation, humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and how everyone can help Colorado’s wildlife.
National Mill Dog Rescue rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes discarded breeding dogs and to educate the general public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry.
March 2014: Izzy’s Place
Many of our members currently share our homes with senior dogs, and we know that if something were to happen to us, we’d want someone to take care of our dog. And yet, senior dogs find it very difficult to find new homes because people want to adopt young dogs.
That’s why we were delighted to support Izzy’s Place, a charity that offers senior dogs a safe haven, high-quality food, proper vet care, appropriate exercise & playtime, and most of all lot’s of love in their retirement years.
June 2014: Every Creature Counts
This No Kill Dog and Cat Sanctuary in Fort Lupton, Colorado goes above and beyond to save cats and dogs. Last year Every Creature Counts found furever homes for over 2,700 homeless pets and neutered/spayed over 7,000 spay dogs and cats.
September 2014: Pilots N Paws
Pilots N Paws connects pets who need to be relocated from a high kill shelter with pilots who are willing to fly them to their new rescue, foster, or adoptive home.
December 2014: Colorado Pet Pantry and Pets Forever
Colorado Pet Pantry
This charity recognizes that families who are struggling to feed themselves are also struggling to feed their pets. Colorado Pet Pantry provides pet food to local food banks, so that families can continue caring for their furry family members.
At Pets Forever, Colorado State University veterinary students volunteer time and medical care so that disabled and elderly pet owners can continue to enjoy the companionship of their four legged friends.
March 2015: Companion Animal Advocates And Lucky Dog Rescue
Companion Animal Advocates
Companion Animal Advocates keeps pets out of shelters by providing pet food to food banks so that those who are struggling to feed their families can feed their pets, too. They provide 391 bags of food every month to 3 local food banks and operate on $61,000 in funding. They also have a low/no cost spay/neuter effort, and since it costs $500 to spay/neuter a pet in their area, low/no cost spay/neuter is sometimes the only way a family could afford to have the procedure done. They also supply pet sized resuscitation equipment to fire departments. Almost every single fire dept in Bergen county has the pet size masks. So now they are expanding to other counties.
Lucky Dog Rescue
The Lucky Dog Rescue’s mission is to help unwanted dogs find forever homes and to be a leader in Colorado Springs community educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering, advocating for animals that have no voice, offering training and other resources as alternatives to re-homing, and preventing cruelty to animals. Although they are a small charity with less than 50k in revenue, they’ve saved 450 total dogs as of 1/17/14, since 7/13/10
June 2015: 2nd Chance to Dance Dachshund Rescue and Animal League of Green Valley
2nd Chance to Dance Dachshund Rescue
Veteran animal rescuer started a new charity in her new home state of Wyoming. In 10 months, she’s already rescued 25 Dachshunds who stay either with her or in foster homes. Because of her many years in animal rescue, she has a wide network of former adoptees, FB friends, and contacts who are potential adopters, and 20 of those rescued Dachshunds have been adopted. Although her town’s population is only 200 people, Wyoming doesn’t have a lot of dog rescue options. In fact, Wyoming shelters are high kill and still use gas chambers, and people are seeking her help throughout the entire state.
Animal League of Green Valley
Located in Green Valley, AZ, this animal shelter has found homes for more than 2,145 dogs and cats between 2009 and 2012. Currently, they care for 172 cats and 50 dogs. Not only do they shelter pets, they provide spay/neuter, veterinary care, training and adoption with low cost options and special assistance for lower income pet owners. And they do that all with more than 300 volunteers who contribute more than 91,500 hours of their time a year. There is no paid staff at TALGV, only dedicated volunteers who make it all possible.
Septemeber 2015: Marley’s Mutts
Marley’s Mutts rescues, rehabilitates, trains and re-homes death row dogs from Kern County’s high-kill animal shelters. The charity itself is based out of Tehachapi which is in the interior of California about 35 miles east-southeast of Bakersfield and west of Mojave. It is a low income area, but they have a big impact on their community due in part to the founder, Zach Skow, whose recovery from drug addiction gives him credibility and a connection with the community. They remove about 40 dogs per month from the area’s high kill shelters and adopting out around 30 of those each month. In the year since launching their low cost spay and neuter clinic, they have fixed over 1,500 dogs. The recent reports by the local animal shelter is showing declining euthanasia rates, and they believe that is due in large part to their low cost spay and neuter program.
December 2015: Pets Forever
Colorado State University students provide in-home animal care (e.g., dog walking, brushing, feces removal, litter box cleaning, etc.), companion dog walking (walking with pet and owner), transportation of animals to/from vet or groomer, and home delivery of pet food and supplies for 154 disabled and elderly pet owners in the Larimer County area.
March 2016: Fidos for Freedom
Located in Maryland, Fidos for Freedom provides trained Service Dogs or Hearing Dogs to people who are physically challenged, deaf or hard-of-hearing. Once the dogs are partnered with their human, Fidos provides on-going support services and training.
The typical service dog training period from birth to team graduation lasts for 36 months and costs about $2,500 per year per dog, so our donation will fund about 1/2 of one dog’s training. About 12 puppies at any given time are attending the intermediate training program at a local prison. Needless to say, this is a very popular program among the inmates.
In addition, they bring therapy dogs to health care environments and schools to promote healing and public awareness. In 2014, there were 108 active therapy dog teams, who conducted 536 demos/visits for a total of 3,484 volunteer hours.
June 2016: Pets of the Homeless
Pets of the Homeless estimates that as many as 10%-25% of people experiencing homelessness have pets. Just as homeless people are at risk for illness and injury, so are their pets. Just as homeless people have limited resources to care for their own illnesses and injuries, so they have limited resources to care for their pets. But the bond between a homeless person and their pet can be exceptionally strong as this person has very little consistency, companionship, and love outside of their relationship with their pet. Many will feed their pet before they feed themselves.
Pets of the Homeless is the only national organization focused exclusively on feeding and providing veterinary care to pets of the homeless. They have 580 volunteers across the nation who recruit businesses to act as drop points for pet food donations. These pet food donations are then disbursed to their network of locations that provide services to homeless or low income people. In addition, they provide medical care, vaccination services, spay/neuter vouchers. They also provide metal crates directly to homeless shelters so that a homeless pet owner doesn’t have to choose between sleeping indoors and their pet.
Since 2008 they’ve disbursed 418 tons of pet food to soup kitchens, pet food pantries and homeless shelter. They have paid over $332,500 for veterinary care, pet food and crates, and have assisted with veterinary care to over 12,800 pets. Emergency Veterinary Care for 2015 exceeded $70,000, and they treated over 300 pets.
September 2016: 4 Paws 4 Life
Located in Littleton, Colorado, 4 Paws 4 Life is a foster based dog rescue focusing on finding homes for dogs from transported from high kill shelters in the region.
They receive regular transport of dogs every week from high kill shelters across Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico. They host adoption event at their local Petco 3 times per week and they adopt out about 1,400 dogs a year. Year to date, they have found homes for 900 dogs, provided 24 hurt or sick dogs with medical care, treated 37 dogs for heart worm, and found homes for 8 senior dogs. Since founding in 2012, they have found homes for over 5,000 dogs.
December 2016: Big Dogs Huge Paws
Big Dogs Huge Paws was founded on the core philosophy is that every “BIG” dog deserves a chance. They focus on include, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs (All Types), Irish Wolfhounds, and Scottish Deerhounds. There is a huge need due to the fact that most of these breeds do not have any legitimate rescue options and there are always more dogs in need than any one organization can help.
They rescue dogs from and adopt dogs out in a 7 state region: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Big Dogs is an all volunteer foster network, and they currently have 91 dogs in foster homes and have placed 2,861 dogs in permanent homes..
March 2017: Animal House
Animal House is an adoption guaranteed shelter and foster network finding forever homes for dogs in Colorado. Another non-profit, Hope for Paws, transports dogs from more than 50 shelters across CO, WY, KS, NE, and OK who are about to be euthanized due to constraints of time, resources, and space to Animal House on a regular basis.
In 2015, they placed 783 dogs and puppies into loving forever homes. Over the past 6 years, they’ve been saving money to put towards the purchase of their own land and facility. In April of 2016, they closed on a property with 3 buildings, and the new facilities will allow them to increase the number of rescued animals to 1,200.
June 2017: Creative Acres
Creative Acres is a unique No Kill and Free Roam sanctuary. It currently houses 400 animals of 100 different species including emus, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, ferrets, turtles, chickens, sheep, horses, and many others.
September 2017: Island Dogs & NoCo Friends of Ferals
The Pets Giving Circle had a tie vote. Half our donation went to Island Dogs which is making a dent in the pet overpopulation problem in Puerto Rico by implementing a spay and neuter program and shipping dogs off the island to rescues and adoptive homes in the States. Their spay and neuter program has neutered more than 4,000 dogs and cats since 2007 on the NE coast of Puerto Rico. Many of these animals have their ear marked to indicate they’ve been fixed and then are released back on the streets. They’ve had such success reducing the stray dog population in this area that they expanded and now have a spay and neuter program on the SW coast of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico sustained serious damage in the most recent hurricane, and I’m sure their need has just skyrocketed. I’m so glad we were able to help out in some way.
The other half of the Pets Giving Circle donation went to NoCo Friends of Ferals. They work to address the problem of feral cat overpopulation in Colorado through monthly trap-neuter-return (TNR) clinics. Every month, they trap feral and stray cats, neuter or spay them, vaccinate them, treat them for medical conditions, then either return them to their colonies or place them in foster care if they are adoptable. TNR is evidence-based and is the most efficient and humane way to decrease feral cat numbers and stop the mass euthanasia of these cats in shelters.
Cat colonies are often located in poor and or rural areas. These two 60 something women are traipsing around trailer parks tracking down colonies and cajoling people into helping them. They’ll go into a trailer parks and try to connect with the care takers (people in the area who feed the cats) who can give more information on how many cats are there and where they live. They’ll go 2 or 3 months in a row to get about 80% of the cats. Otherwise, it’s not going to make an impact on the birth rate. So they’ll visit 5 or 6 times and trap 50 or 60 cats. As of July 20, 2016, NCFF has trapped, altered and vaccinated 6297 cats, found homes for 760 kittens and strays.
December 2017: Big Dogs Canine Rescue
Big Bones is a 100% volunteer based shelter and foster based rescue network for all breeds of Mastiff and Great Danes. They receive dogs that are about to be euthanized from shelters in CA, TX, OK, KS, and NM. They have a 13 acre property in Windsor, CO with 4 buildings that can hold up to 30 dogs. All the dogs have indoor and outdoor areas that they can access, plus there are isolated kennels to keep new or sick dogs until their health and temperament can be assessed. In 2015, they adopted out 598 dogs. In 2016, they adopted 860 dogs- 250 of whom were puppies.
March 2018: Street Dog Coalition
As many as 10%-25% of people experiencing homelessness have pets. To have a pet as a homeless person often means giving up access to shelters and transportation. But the bond between a homeless person and their pet can be exceptionally strong as this person has very little consistency, companionship, and love outside of their relationship with their pet. Many will feed their pet before they feed themselves.
Street Dog Coalition provides free medical care and other services to pets of the homeless. Through pop up clinics, they give rabies shots, parvovirus and distemper, deworming pills, and vouchers to free spay/neuter services.
Based out of Fort Collins, they are regularly contacted by other veterinarians who want to open chapters in their area. They have teams in Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs each providing about 1 clinic per week and helping about 500 pets a year. Chapters through the country serve another 500 pets per year.
June 2018: Red Rover
Red Rover, located in Sacremento, CA, helps animals who are in crisis situations due to disasters, neglect, illness or domestic violence. For people dealing with domestic violence, Red Rover’s offsets the cost of temporary pet boarding while a client is in a domestic violence shelter and helps create more pet-friendly emergency shelter options for survivors of domestic violence.
When a disaster hits, they set up and operate temporary shelters when large numbers of animals are affected by storms, fires, floods, or other emergencies or when they’re rescued from large-scale cruelty situations such as puppy mills and hoarding cases.
And they have a childhood education program teaching empathy while at the same time helping students make responsible decisions and become more aware of themselves and their communities.
September 2018: Harley’s Hope
Located in Colorado Springs, CO, Harley’s Hope helps make sure that low income pet parents and their companion or service animals remain together when issues arise.
Their most popular program is their medical costs program. People from around the country can apply for help to cover veterinary expenses. In addition, they will pay the pet deposit for seniors transitioning into assisted living facilities. For people in the Colorado Springs area, they also have emergency short-term foster care that provides housing for pets while their pet parents are coping with temporary housing problems. For example, they helped a women who was fleeing a domestic violence situation with her dog and kids. She couldn’t get into transitional housing that allowed their dog, so the family was living in their truck. Harley’s Hope took the dog until housing was resolved.
December 2018: North Valley Animal Disaster Group & Old Friends Sanctuary
Located in Northern California, the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG) has been one of the primary responders to the Camp Fire. They had over 50 teams behind the fire lines evacuating, feeding and watering animals. At one time they were caring for over 1,000 animals either in shelters or by providing food and water to pets who stayed behind. North Valley Animal Disaster Group existed prior to this disaster. They were founded in 2002 to educate the public about disaster preparedness and to assist in sheltering and evacuation of animals during a disaster. NVADG volunteers train year round on fireline safety, emergency equipment, animal rescue and animal handling.
Located in Mount Juliet, TN, Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary (OFSDS), houses approximately 120 senior dogs at the Sanctuary and about 200 other dogs in temporary and Forever Foster Homes. While providing lifetime homes for senior dogs, OFSDS strives to raise awareness of the joys and challenges of living with older dogs.The dogs that they bring into their program are those who are nearly or fully un-adoptable due to disability and/or age but who are still able to enjoy the remainder of their senior years with a good quality of life. This amount of time may range from weeks to months to years, and they aim to provide the best quality of life possible for them during that time through loving homes, medical care, and great food.
March 2019: Animal Rescue of the Rockies and Kindness Ranch
Animal Rescue of the Rockies is a 100% foster based rescue, because they believe that foster homes make it easier for animals to be adopted. Animals are less stressed and more adapted to a home environment. And since ARR takes the pet back if the adoption doesn’t work out, they like to get it right the first time. Unlike most rescues, they have a lot of success with cats and actually adopt out more cats than dogs. In 2018, they found permanent homes for 265 dogs and 1,248 cats. Since founding in 2003, they’ve placed more than 10,000 dogs and cats.
Kindness Ranch is located on a 1,000 acre ranch in Hartville, WY. They take in all kinds of research animals including dogs, cats, horses, pigs and sheep. They work to rehabilitate dogs and cats in a home-like environment with round-the-clock care to help them adjust to their new lives. In many cases when research dogs come to Kindness Ranch, they have never played with another dog or toys, experienced the outdoors, touched grass, been on a walk and they are not potty trained. Most of the animals that come to Kindness Ranch are adopted to their fur-ever homes to lead happy, fulfilling lives as a family pet. Animals who are too debilitated, old or ill to be adopted can remain on the ranch to live out their days, surrounded by caretakers and volunteers who put the animals’ well-being first. Since it was founded in 2006, Kindness Ranch has provided sanctuary to 1162 Animals.
June 2019: Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary
Located on 900 acres in Deer Trail, Colorado. Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS) provides training, adoption and education about Mustangs and Burros, while offering a sanctuary for those in need. They work primarily in the Sand Wash Basin (SWB) which spans 157,730 acres that has a population of upward of 560 wild horses. Their Sand Wash Advocate Team collaborates with the Bureau of Land Management to document and manage its population of wild horses.
They have a comprehensive training and adoption program offering Mustangs from halter trained to under saddle along with post-adoption training services and ongoing support to Adopters. Mustangs and burros that are not responding well to training or have other issues that would prevent them from becoming great adoption candidates live out their days on 900 acres of sanctuary and pasture. GEMS has about 60 horses in their care.