From all around Teller County, several hundred volunteers are working to keep dogs and cats out of shelters as they’re “Fostering Hope and New Beginnings.”

Those volunteers, together with supporters, dogs and staff, gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel on Nov. 6 for a Wags & Wishes fundraising dinner and an evening of camaraderie for Teller County Regional Animal Shelter.

Among the furry friends greeting guests were well-known Great Pyrenees Chief, who was seriously injured after suffering severe separation anxiety, and politically adept Swiss mountain dog Piper, the elected “mayor” of Divide. Piper is the family pet of Jodi Mijares, director of Community Partnership Family Resource Center. Piper’s run for office raised more than $25,000 for the TCRAS animals.

Videos about growing number of TCRAS programs were featured during the evening. Major work is done through the foster programs, which, staff explained, “gives an animal a second chance.”

TCRAS described its work: “As a limited admission shelter, we give each companion pet that enters our doors the time, medical attention and training necessary to find a new leash on life. We do not euthanize for time or space and cared for 882 companion pets in 2020 with a save rate of 98.8%.”

Case histories were featured on event programs. Shepherd-mix Ranger had been adopted from TCRAS but was returned when his owners divorced.

Adopted by another family, he was caught up in the lockdown stress of COVID and again returned. Ranger graduated from a TCRAS behavioral training program and is now in a permanent home.

Cats Zahara and Century were young nursing mothers when they were brought in with their kittens and placed in foster homes. Their kittens were weaned and both cats became foster moms nursing newly arrived tiny orphan kittens.

TCRAS staff includes Angela Davis, executive director; Jodi Waters, development director; Amy Elmont, marketing director; and animal care technicians.


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