Dogs have a heyday at May Day for Mutts
By Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff
WEST GLENWOOD – If your idea of a good time is a walk on a leash, a pat on the head and a lengthy chew session on an old rawhide, Saturday was a really good day to be at High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters.
Lots of dogs and their people showed up for “May Day for Mutts” on Saturday, a benefit for Colorado Animal Rescue.
High Tails – which incorporates a retail store with indoor and outdoor training areas, doggie wash room, and day-boarding facilities – hosted the event for the first time.
“This is a general festival of fun events for and about dogs,” said Laurie Raymond, co-owner with Beth Byerly of the pet center.
Silver, Sasha and Tippy couldn’t have agreed more. The three shelties, who belong to Kate Andreatta of Glenwood, were having a fine day of it, taking part in the Doggie Dress-Up and Make-up event, sampling dog food at the Natura Pet Products tent, and getting plenty of pats on the head from admirers.
“Right now, we have 16 dogs at the shelter, 20 adult cats and 10 kittens at the shelter,” said CARE executive director Leslie Rockey, “and we’ve got another 40 kittens in foster care.”
Rockey and CARE staff brought five adoptable dogs to May Day for people to meet. As of 2 p.m., one dog had been sent home with a prospective owner.
“It’s great when we can connect people with these animals,” said Rockey.
Seven-year old Erin Burwell, a volunteer at the Rifle Animal Shelter, was also at May Day, showing off Smilin’ Sammy, a 1 1/2-year-old black Lab mix that’s been at the shelter for a while just waiting for the right match to come along.
May Day also featured a clinic to microchip pets for identification; Cindy Wallis, a DVM who practices acupressure and treats her patients with Chinese herbal medicine; and Garfield County Search and Rescue dogs.
Danielle, a Chesapeake Bay retriever/Lab mix, was front and center during a search and rescue demonstration. She sniffed around on the lawn in front of High Tails, recovering three scent samples that had been set out for her.
Owned and trained by Barry Sovern, Danielle is an avalanche rescue dog at Sunlight during the winters, a bird dog during hunting season, and also is hired by police and sheriff departments to recover human remains. Sovern said Danielle recently recovered a tooth and other body parts during a murder investigation near Cortez.
Other demos included Canine Consultant Laura VanDyne and Heeling Partners, dog/people teams that visit patients in medical centers and children at area libraries through the Paws to Read children’s reading program. Demonstrations of dog agility and various dog games also kept participants wagging their tails.
And canines weren’t the only species featured at May Day. Big Buddy Horse Rescue, based at the Lucky 13 Ranch in Rifle and headed by Susie Hoeppli, supplied information at the event. The organization rescues horses who have been abandoned by their owners, or deemed too old or too untrainable.
“This is a place where each horse’s particular needs are attended to by skilled caregivers,” said Hoeppli. “The horses are given the attention they deserve.
Currently, six horses are staying at the rescue.
And in the upstairs loft inside High Tails, Carol Punkoney of Loma was tending to several exotic birds from The Gabriel Foundation. Punkoney said birds are available for adoption from the foundation, though people must apply and be screened to make sure a suitable match is found.
Laurie Raymond of High Tails said she would like to continue hosting May Day for Mutts.
“Many nonprofit animal rescue groups are here today with animals for adoption,” Raymond said. “They all do a tremendous job and deserve our support.”
Information on all the organizations that took part in May Day for Mutts is available by contacting High Tails at 947-0014.
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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