Strut Your Mutt fetches $10,000 for new Rifle shelter |

Strut Your Mutt fetches $10,000 for new Rifle shelter

Heidi Rice
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Citizen Telegram

RIFLE, Colorado – It wasn’t your typical sundae-bar with plain yogurt, bacon, cheese, peanut butter, hot dogs and kibble.


But on the other hand, they weren’t your typical ice-cream social consumers, having four legs and a waggly tail. They were participants in the Strut Your Mutt fundraiser held on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Deerfield Park which drew about 50 animal lovers who helped to raise $10,000 towards the construction of the new Murphy’s Ranch Animal Haven. Plans for a new sanctuary is in response to the city outgrowing the current Rifle Animal Shelter, along with the county’s CARE shelter, which is consistently full.

“[Strut Your Mutt] was definitely fantastic – the support was wonderful,” said Heather Mullen, manager of the Rifle Animal Shelter. “The support was wonderful and we raised more than we expected.”

The new private, nonprofit animal facility is planned to be built on 35-acres north of Rifle on land donated by Sam and Terri Potter of Rifle. Terri is the president of the Friends of the Rifle Animal Shelter, whose name is being changed to “Friends of the Murphy’s Ranch Animal Haven.”

The current animal shelter at 0569 County Road 265 is almost always full and doesn’t have much room to house stray or lost pets. The first phase of the new facility is expected to be able to contain up to 40 dogs and 60 cats.

And while the Strut Your Mutt fundraiser was a big success, the $10,000 was only a piece in the estimated $4 million that it will take to build the entire Murphy’s Ranch Animal Haven.

“We hope to have it up and running within three to four years,” Mullen said. “But it all depends on how much we can raise in funding.”

The Murphy’s Ranch Animal Haven is expected to be a no-kill shelter which will also provide comfortable housing to pets from around the county who are waiting to be adopted.

“Plans are for MRAH to receive stray animals under contracts with local governments as well as to accept relinquished animals from the general public,” according to the MRAH. “It will operate as a no-kill shelter where animals are never euthanized for time or space constraints.”

The current animal shelter is old and no longer meets the needs of all the homeless animals in the county.

The larger facility will mean the need for more volunteer help to feed, walk and play with its homeless habitants.

But if the Strut Your Mutt fundraiser is any indication of how Garfield County residents feel about animals and helping to find them good homes, our four-legged friends should be in pretty good shape.

The Murphy’s Ranch Animal Haven is expected to cost about $4 million when completed.

Meanwhile, the pooches enjoyed the fundraising activities, including the ice-cream social for both the people and pets.

“I think the doggie bar did better than the people bar,” Mullen said with a laugh. “The dogs went back for seconds and thirds. Everything went perfect. The community support was absolutely amazing – we couldn’t do it without them.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User