Dogs rescued near Rifle are looking at happier times |

Dogs rescued near Rifle are looking at happier times

John GardnerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photo

RIFLE Two abandoned dogs are on their way to the front range today. The two dogs are hitching a ride to Denver just two weeks after they were delivered to the Rifle Animal Shelter (RAS).They were definitely skinny when we got them. They were much thinner than they should have been, said RAS manager Heather Mullen. It was pretty sad.The two dogs, a chocolate lab and a golden retriever, were surviving in a field behind houses on Park Avenue in Rifle, according to Sergeant Vaughn Miles of the Rifle Police Department. Mullen guessed that the lab was more than 10 years old and the retriever was between 5 and 7.The pair were rescued on Jan. 14, after spending between a month and two weeks in the field. They were without proper food, water and shelter. Some of the neighbors living in the houses next to the field fed the dogs on occasion. But when the temperatures began dropping in the middle of January, thats when Animal Control received the call.Different people had been taking care of them but it was getting really cold during that time, so we got the call and took them into custody, Miles said. Mullen couldnt believe that the lab had survived the cold weather.The retriever is younger and has a thicker coat, Mullen said. The lab has arthritis and as old as he is, it was amazing with the temperatures as cold as they were that the he made it.Mullen said she believes the only reason the lab survived was the company of his golden companion.They seem like they have been together for a while, Mullen said. Its hard to think that they dont belong to someone and they dont have a home.Over 90 percent of the dogs at the RAS are abandoned or what Mullen referred to as running at large. But for tonight at least, these dogs will sleep in a warm bed thanks to Mullen and the help of the Rifle Animal Control. Mullen made it possible for Retriever Rescue of Colorado (RROC) to place the dogs in foster homes until they can be found a forever home.Fostering a dog is one of the most important jobs within the rescue, reads the RROC website. Without foster families, RROC would be unable to save the lives of our previous retrievers.The RROC doesnt have a permanent facility and relies on this foster parent program to find suitable homes for rescued dogs. Its a great program that Mullen is thankful for. She hopes the two will find a home together, but she knows the likelihood of that is slim.This is when (the dogs) need us the most, Mullen said. They are old in age and a lot of people dont want an old dog. But this is when they need people the most and we really need to be there for them.It may not be the perfect solution but it keeps the pair out of the cold, and together, for now. Keeping them together is the one thing that Mullen was concerned about.We really want them to stay together, Mullen said. The retriever seems like hes sad when the lab isnt around.Mullen plans on meeting with a representative from RROC today in Vail, at which point she will turn the dogs over. From there, its up to the volunteers of RROC.As of Thursday evening, Mullen was happy that the dogs were recovering well.They are both putting on weight and are groomed, she said. They are getting healthier and stronger day by day.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO For more information on Retriever Rescue of Colorado, visit their website at:

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