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CARE steps up during Coal Seam Fire

Lynn Burton

After being evacuated from her home in Oak Meadows Sunday, one of Colleen Kline’s first stops was the Colorado Animal Rescue shelter on the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus.

Kline brought her two cats, Solo and Cricket, to stay at the animal shelter while she hooks up with friends until all three can return to home.

Leslie Rockey is the Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) co-director, and she smiled as she called Solo and Cricket by name when Kline brought them in.

“Solo was just this little thing when I got him up here,” Kline said. “My son renamed him Bandit because of the markings on his face, but he’ll answer to Solo.”

Sunday was busier and barkier than normal at CARE, as word got out the nonprofit group would board pets while their displaced owners found other places to live for the next few days.

“Last night we came in at 10 p.m., and we took them in all night. We plan to be open 24 hours a day,” Rockey said. “We’re getting really full.”

As of Sunday afternoon, CARE had taken in 62 pets, split evenly between dogs and cats.

As for other species, “Ferrets … birds … exotics go to the vet tech farm,” Rocky said, referring to the college’s nearby facility.

CARE has responded in different ways as new needs have arisen. One team hurried in Sunday for cages, so they could rescue pets that had to be left behind when their owners were evacuated.

“We’re trying to get them out,” Rockey said. “There are definitely animals that have been left behind.”

A Carbondale area woman has volunteered her trailer to take in or rescue horses that might be displaced or in danger.

“The community has been very supportive,” Rockey continued.

Pet owners are invited to come up to visit with their pets during a time which can be pretty stressful to all parties concerned.

“It makes them happy,” Rockey said.

When Rockey and other CARE staffers and employees weren’t taking in pets Sunday, they were accepting a steady stream of donated pet food, kitty liter and related supplies.

“People have been calling, wanting to know what they can do,” Rockey said.


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