The ulti-mutt gift: Compassion Project Rescue places abandoned Texas dogs with Colorado families |

The ulti-mutt gift: Compassion Project Rescue places abandoned Texas dogs with Colorado families

Silla Parker and Sandy spend time together at the Compassion Project Rescue adoption event at the Glenwood Springs PetCo on Tuesday.

Alizabeth Koster will typically only have 20 dogs from the shelters in Texas where she does transfers, but this time she had 36.

“We usually transport up once a month … and this time we did a much bigger transport because of the freeze, since a bunch of dogs were freezing and we threw on as many as we safely could.

Koster said she has been a volunteer for Compassion Project Rescue (CPR) for a few months now, as she stood beside a foldable kennel outside the Glenwood Springs PetCo store Tuesday with four eager puppies barking away.

CPR is a local organization that works to find Colorado homes for dogs from Texas high-kill shelters. Their Texas team will give those animals shots, dewormers and flea meds before bringing them to Colorado and their forever homes, she said.

For one Texas pound in particular, they had 14 dogs and they will begin to euthanize at 15, so CPR took them all. Koster also said they hire someone to transfer the dogs from the Texas shelters to the valley safely.

One of the puppies from Texas who will now live with its foster or adopted family thanks to the Compassion Project Rescue.

“If they went straight, it’d be a 17-hour drive, but they have to stop and walk the dogs, so this one actually they were really fast – they made it in 24 hours. They stop and walk everybody and then two hours later they stop and do it again; they don’t sleep or anything,” Koster said.

Silla Parker, Koster’s mother, also helps out with care for the dogs before they’re transferred to either a foster or forever home. Smiling behind her mask with a photo of a dog face on it, Parker said her daughter has been passionate about helping dogs since she was little and that she takes direction from her and just helps out in whatever ways she can.

“Today we have an extra puppy for some reason so I’ll take that home until we can try to place it…I have a cavalier at home and each of my sons have dogs, so sometimes we have a lot of dogs at home, but we live at the ranch in Emma, the Happy Day Ranch, so we have room for them to run,” Parker said.

For today’s adoption event, Koster and Parker had two carloads full of dogs out in the PetCo parking lot in Glenwood Meadows for the new owners to come and grab them.

A rescued dog all the way from Texas waiting to get dropped off at its forever home.
Jessica Peterson/Post Independent

Willow, Koster’s 5-year-old daughter was watching over the dogs in one minivan to help keep them calm and comfortable. Koster said any animals they transfer out from Texas must be assigned a home before they can come to Colorado, but the reason they had so many dogs left over was because she was going out to deliver them to their new homes today.

Brian Riseley is a new puppy owner from Kremmling, who picked up his dog, 2-½-month-old Bella, this morning.

“I was so happy I locked my damn keys in the car because I forgot,” Riseley said.

Many Texas residents and businesses are still without power and Koster said this new batch of dogs were in shelters without power and water, and some shelters had started giving them bottled water to drink. Koster added that, since shelters locally have had extremely high adoption rates for dogs, there are people here who are willing to foster these animals or even take them in permanently.

“So, we also organized a drive for them; I just had two car loads full of dog beds, blankets and dog food, stuff like that, and after the transport dropped off the puppies they grabbed all that stuff and are bringing it back to the shelters in Texas for us then,” Koster said.

While it’s a lot of work corralling so many animals, Parker said the reward makes it worth it.

One dog, Sandy, a small brown and white pup with a snaggle tooth on either corner of her mouth, continued to yap at everyone and everything passing by, but Parker said once the animals reach their new homes, after so much transition, they tend to let their guard down and show their true colors.

“Everytime we get dogs to adopt out they’re so sweet. They really need some love and attention and people around here are awesome to do that,” Parker said.

A Texas rescue dog at the PetCo adoption Tuesday in Glenwood Springs.
Jessica Peterson/Post Independent
To learn more…

-Compassion Project Rescue has an Instagram and Facebook page where you can see photos of new animals they plan to bring back from Texas.

-If you’re interested in volunteering with CPR, you can contact Alizabeth at also shows local animals in need of homes.

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