Saturday, March 3, 2001
Thank God there are people such as Kevin Nobrega and Barrett Loving in Routt County. The young couple from Hayden freed up some needed space at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter last week by adopting a mutt named Max.
The space is in high demand because our local animal control officers opened up their shelter to three emaciated puppies and their starved mother from Craig. It seems some creep left the dogs locked up in an apartment there for as long as three weeks.
When Moffat County animal control officer Amy Andrews finally gained access to the
apartment, she found eight to
10 empty bowls on the floor
indicating someone had attempted to leave food for the dogs. But the 8- to 10-week-old puppies were emaciated and had no access to water. The mother may have been able to drink out of a toilet.
A fourth scrawny puppy died despite the best efforts to save it.
What was even sadder, in our minds, than what Andrews found was her statement: "It happens more often than we like to say."
Moffat County didn't have room to take care of the dogs, so they were brought to Steamboat.
"We're taking them because it just doesn't make sense to euthanize four perfectly healthy dogs," said Steamboat Springs animal control officer Stacy Hayes.
But taking in the four Craig dogs meant there
was that much less room at a shelter that is too
often bursting at the seams. The shelter has 19 indoor/outdoor dog kennels. Late last week, the canine population was fluctuating between 17 and 18. In addition, there were two full-grown cats in residence that desperately need homes before kitten season arrives. It seems older cats just can't
compete with the appeal of 6-week-old furballs.
The call has gone out for more caring people like Loving and Nobrega to adopt animals, and we hope it is answered en masse.
Andrews, the animal control officer in Craig, said she is issuing a summons for the person
suspected of leaving those dogs to fend for
themselves in that apartment.
Once they find him or her, and once some more kennel space is freed up, we know the perfect place for that person to spend some time without food and with a toilet to drink out of.