April E. Clark
Arts & Entertainment Contributor


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September 12, 2013
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Puttin’ on the dog for Colorado Animal Rescue

SPRING VALLEY— If the fashion doesn’t turn heads Saturday night in Carbondale, there’s always the puppies.

Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) shelter is pulling out all the stops to make this year’s 13th annual Dressed to the K9s fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at The Orchard in Carbondale a success. A new litter of shepherd-mix puppies could be the dealmaker.

“We’ll have about 25 animals in the show, and we’ll have a litter of puppies that just came in,” CARE executive director Leslie Rockey said. “Puppies always do really great in the show. This event is great for their socialization since they will be around so many people. And who doesn’t love a litter of cute puppies?”

Rockey said the dogs and cats from CARE who will be in the show will be dolled up thanks to local pet stores and animal outfitters.

“The animals are the star of the show,” she said. “So we will have them in some minimal apparel from C.B. Paws, High Tails, and R.J. Paddywacks.”

Nine valley shops will feature their fashions on the catwalk. Three of CARE’s young 11-year-old volunteers who help walk the dogs and socialize the animals at the Spring Valley shelter will open the fashion show.

“They do everything they can to help,” said Rockey. “One thing that will be a nice addition to this annual event is two Colorado state [legislators] will speak on Colorado naming its state animal as shelter pets.”

Those two politicians are state Sen. Bob Rankin and Rep. Brittany Peterson. Also, guest speaker Philip Tedeschi, executive director for the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver, will address the animal-loving crowd.

“He will talk about the human/animal connection,” Rockey said. “I think what he’ll have to say will be very impactful to the audience.”

Rockey and CARE co-founder Jim Calaway will also speak about the shelter’s Thumper Fund created to assist pets who come to the facility injured.

“The one call to action we want to do is to help support our Thumper Fund,” Rockey said. “The animals are our top priority, and other shelters euthanize when pets are brought in injured. We will be highlighting a special dog that was brought into us with horrible injuries.”

Named Lefty at CARE, the injured mixed-breed dog has since been adopted into a loving home and is now named Phantom.

“If we can put them back together and find them great homes, we will do it,” Rockey said.

Along with celebrity animal appearances and Front Range speakers, Dressed to the K9s also features food and drinks, and a silent auction.

Tickets for Saturday’s fundraiser are still available and will be sold at the door for $75.

“We encourage the community to come out for a great evening, and to support Colorado Animal Rescue, serving Garfield County for over 13 years now. Our mission is simple: to provide safety and care for homeless animals and education for the pet-owning public,” Rockey said. “CARE makes every effort to place animals into loving homes, to encourage population control and to promote responsible pet ownership. We are dedicated to providing education and support to the community by being the local animal welfare resource center.”

Rockey said the event helps CARE pay its operating expenses, which average around $700,000 a year, as well as for staff and food for the animals. Last year’s Dressed to the K9s event brought in $60,000.

“If people will come out and support us, even if it’s last-minute, every little bit helps,” she said. “We are just going to keep things really fun, and I think we’re going to have a full house.”

Complete with a litter of puppies.


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The Post Independent Updated Sep 13, 2013 10:46AM Published Sep 13, 2013 10:52AM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.