My name is Jennifer Thomas and I’m the director of Animal Rescue of Southern Colorado. I won’t waste your time telling you what I do but rather why I began doing it.
I wasn’t born in this Valley. I’m a newbie really. Four years ago, this April my husband and I rolled into town with a job running the Narrow Gauge Railroad Inn in Antonito. We were excited about the move and had no idea how much of an adventure it would actually become. The next day I went to the grocery store and in the parking lot were three dogs. No one seemed to own them. They looked hungry and were not exactly “friendly”. It was intimidating, and I love dogs. I ask someone walking by if they knew whose dogs they were. “Who knows, there are dogs running all over here.” It was such a casual statement. Three weeks later this big beautiful pitbull I named Mike planted himself in the parking lot of the motel and didn’t want to leave. After a week of Facebook and internet searching I found Anna, or shall I say Anna found me. It turned out that Anna was well versed in the stray dog problem and she educated me. I came from a place where animal control was well managed. It was unusual to see stray dogs on the street. Anna saved Mike for me and it started the ball rolling to where WE are today.
Lack of funding, lack of education, lack of resources, regardless of the reasons why the dog population got so out of control one thing is true. The citizens of this Valley want help with the problem. They are caring and compassionate people who want the best for their pets. I see it every day in everything we do as a rescue. Our team donates HOURS of their time at CAWL spay and neuter clinics. The people of the Valley have worked hard to fix the pet over-population problem. They have donated thousands of dollars of their own money and tens of thousands have been spent by organizations located out of the Valley to help with low cost spay and neuter.
Approving the proposed puppy mill is a true slap in the face to all the people who have worked so hard to prevent any more damage to the pet population. So, to all of you, Anna, Brandi, Marge, Mindy, Jaimie, Susan, Sue, Lisa, Emily, Gigi, Sue, Michelle, Tegan, Marie, Deb, Haley, Carla, Judy, Linda, Linda, Tiffany, Steve, Mike, Karen, Shanna, Tina, Louisa, Jennifer, Ruthie, Marty, Dr. Deal, Liz, Sandra, Pam, Dianna, Eileen and Kay. (Please forgive me if I forgot anyone. There are many, and that’s the point.) And everyone else who has been a big part of the solution. I am terribly sorry that we now live in a place where majority no longer has a say. That all your hard work, time and dedication is going to be tossed aside so one guy can make a profit selling dogs to a pet store.