Strut Your Mutt to help homeless animals |

Strut Your Mutt to help homeless animals

Kay VasilakisPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Rifle Animal Shelter is a small, old building located across the road from Rifle High School. Because of the size of the facility, it can take calls to house animals only from the city of Rifle, but it gets requests from many other animal shelters in Garfield County and other areas of the state.Thirty-five acres north of Rifle have been donated to the Rifle Animal Shelter to build another facility. It will be named the Murphy Ranch Animal Haven, and it is the new focus of the Friends of the Rifle Animal Shelter.The new facility will be completed in two phases. The first phase will include a 10,000- to 11,000-square-foot animal shelter designed to house 40 dogs and 60 cats. Animal Arts, a Boulder-based architectural firm specializing in animal shelter designs, has been retained for the design, which will be one of the only “green” shelters in the country, with solar energy its principal source of power. The second phase will include independent pods for longer-term animal residents, and ultimately a surgical site. A classroom and quarters for an on-site caretaker are also planned.Funds for the architectural services and water-well drilling have already been raised.Once completed, Murphy’s Ranch Animal Haven will offer spay/neuter services and medical care. Future goals are to offer low-cost spay/neuter services, a dog park and agility course, a retail store, and training and boarding services.Contributions to the new animal shelter may be made by sending checks to Friends of the Rifle Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1375, Rifle, CO 81650, or drop the donation by the Rifle Animal Shelter.The support group is sponsoring the first Strut Your Mutt event to raise funds for the new facility. The event is to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Deerfield Park, behind Wamsley Elementary School in Rifle. Canine owners and their pets will make a loop around Deerfield Park, and then partake of an ice cream social, including food and prizes. Call Rifle Animal Shelter manager Heather Mullen at 625-8808 to volunteer.All funds raised will bring the Murphy Ranch Animal Haven closer to reality.Registration to walk in the event is $25. A sponsor area will be provided for people who wish to make a contribution for others to participate. “When this new facility is built, we will be able to help many more homeless animals find loving homes, and help other shelters to take better care of their overflow of animals,” said Mullen.Another way you can help the Friends of the Rifle Animal Shelter is to vote daily on the Animal Rescue Site Challenge. The facility could win $1,000 if it receives the top number of votes. The voting links are clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces?siteId=3&link=ctg_ars_shelterchallenge _from_shelteroutreach_sidetabs or CO48.html.The animal shelter has some terrific dogs and kittens just waiting for that perfect home. Check out their page on the city of Rifle web page. Kay Vasilakis’ “Nonprofit Spotlight” column appears every other Wednesday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She is an active member of the Garfield County Human Services Commission. To contact her with a local nonprofit event or news item, please call 618-6689 or e-mail kayvasilakis@

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