Hello PAWS for Life supporters. As I reflected on the events of 2020 I was reminded several times as to why the work we do in the community of Pueblo is so important. Although COVID-19 has impacted the way we all live and do business, PAWS staff, volunteers, and board of directors have been working nonstop to make a difference for the animals we love and in doing so are touching the lives of those around us. We are striving to make a lasting impact on the importance of humane treatment of animals by supporting community members anyway we can during this unstable time. Animal welfare is a high emotion and stressful environment, some days you feel worn down but then there is a story of hope and forever love, or a story about children making a choice to help animals, or community members generous donations, or successful collaborations between organizations to benefit animals and the community, and then magically your strength is renewed and you continue to carry on. PAWS for Life has been a part of the Pueblo community for over 42 years and we are grateful that we can continue to provide a safe haven for dogs and cats that are unwanted or need a little more time and attention before finding forever homes. We can only do this with the support of donors like you and we consider you a part of our animal welfare team. We all have our own personal interest in animals and I hope you find several things in this newsletter that warm your heart and renew your energy. Thank you for your continuing support and spreading the word about the great work PAWS is doing for our community.
Your friend in animal welfare,
Kim Alfonso – Board of Directors President
Daisy- A Story of Christmas Past
The first time I brought home a senior pet, Rosie a 15 year-old dachshund I adopted from PAS, I blamed it on my hormones and being 7-months pregnant with twins. My husband just smiled and shook his head, I don’t think he bought it for a minute. So it was no shock when I rolled in late one night last November with senior pup Daisy. I had been at PAWS for a meeting when a citizen brought Daisy in to surrender her. I try not to judge because sometimes circumstances are outside of people’s control but I do wonder how anyone could give up a pet of 11 years. At that time PAWS was at capacity so I agreed to foster her, and she went home with me that night. Daisy instantly fit in with my family and our dogs. The next day as I was talking with Daisy and telling her we’d find her the best forever home I noticed she had some dental issues that were so bad her little teeth were loose and rotten at the roots. Shelter staff immediately scheduled a dental appointment but that would delay her adoptability; we make sure pets are in the best health possible prior to placement. When an opening at PAWS was available staff called, but by that time Daisy had inserted herself in the routine of our house and I couldn’t see her waiting at the shelter until her dental was complete when she had a temporary family that could keep her safe and happy. So she stayed with us. Daisy was the star of an adoption event in early December, her post on our social media had a line of potential adopters waiting for her. She found her forever family that day but still couldn’t go home because of the wait on the dental. It was a reality check for me as I’d already grown to love Daisy so much, and I really suck at fostering – in a good way – some of our pets are fosters that we chose to keep. We call those “foster fails” but really they are wins too. Daisy went in for her dental work a week before Christmas, it was worse than we thought and she came out with very few teeth and a bill over $500, a reminder of the neglect in care over the years. When the time came for Daisy to go to her new family and I dropped her off just a few days before Christmas I knew she had found the perfect forever home. There were definitely tears, but they were happy tears because she would never again be neglected and would get the love she deserved for the remainder of her sweet little life.
Kim Alfonso- Board of Directors President
Number of Families helped through our Community Food Program
A New Lease on Life for Senior Pets
We all know that Love has no age limit! Senior pets just need someone to give them a second chance and a forever home.
Three reasons why you should consider adopting a senior pet
1. Senior Pets are likely house trained and most will already have basic training skills.
2. Senior pets have already grown out bad habits like teething and destructive behaviors.
3. Like wine, Senior pets only get better with age.
Become a PAWS SUPERHERO!
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes here in Southern Colorado. Our PAWS for Life Superheroes (formerly Tree of Life Donors) choose to make a monthly monetary gift to the animals at our shelter. Sustainable donations help ensure we are able to provide shelter, food, basic care, and training for homeless or unwanted animals, while we prepare them for their forever home. Your monthly donation will make a world of difference for our sheltered animals!
All you have to do is click on the link below to choose Animal Welfare and Protection Society as your Amazon Smile non-profit organization! Though 0.5% is not a large donation, every little bit helps our homeless animals waiting for their forever homes! As always, thank you for your support! Happy Shopping!
Sasha is a six-year-old American Staffordshire mix, hoping to be in a loving forever home very soon. She's a happy, fun-loving pup who loves long walks, belly rubs, and showing off her zoomies.
Sasha is deaf, but that doesn't mean she can't still be your typical furry best friend. She is such a sweetheart and has a whole lot of love to give. As a deaf dog, Sasha will need a fenced-in yard and an attentive and patient owner who is willing to adapt to not relying on verbal cues.
Sasha does need to be the only animal in the home and with kids 16 and older. A home check will also be required.
If you are interested in meeting Sasha please call 543-6464 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Together in Difficult Times to Save Lives....
Kato, also lovingly known as “Q” for Rescue by his Foster family, came to PAWS in late August as an owner surrender. During his vet exam some concerning scar tissue was discovered and recommend for further evaluation. Kato was fortunate that his potential adopters wanted to foster him while his health condition was looked into. They also live close to specially vet care in Colorado Springs and helped get him to appointments while giving him the TLC he needed and deserved.
Unfortunately Kato’s diagnosis was not good, he had a rare congenital condition called dermoid sinus and would require an intensive neurosurgery to correct it. Dr. Ko and his team performed an 8+ hour surgery on Kato! Although the surgery went extremely well, Kato still has a bumpy road of recovery before he will be cleared for adoption. Throughout all of his ups and downs he has remained the sweet, easygoing pup we have always know him as. His fosters frequently say, “He’s perfect!”
We have seen an influx of owner surrenders of animals with medical conditions this past year and we are happy to help, but the unexpected medical expenses have taken a financial toll on us. Kato’s medical bills have already exceeded $12,000 and because our only funding comes from our generous supporters, fundraising and an occasional grant, we would truly appreciate your support.
A family of 3 Shar-Peis was surrendered to PAWS in late August. The family grew to 5 when the two females had puppies at PAWS. The two surviving puppies are doing great but the 3 adults each had varying degrees of chronic medical conditions due to years of neglect. We have been able to help this family of pups get to a breed specific rescue but not before we treated their medical conditions with medical expenses. Storm required an emergency C-section but sadly none of her pups were viable due to inbreeding, and Keanu required eye surgery and is partially blind. All of the pups in this family are the sweetest, and are all so friendly and want so much attention in spite of years of being overbred and kept outside.
PAWS support of the Shar-Peis didn’t end when they were transferred to the wonderful rescue Pei People. In November Momma and the two babies needed a lift to their new forever home so a board member stepped up and drove 215 miles to assist in their transport journey!
Volunteers are seldom paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are PRICELESS!!
Certain words come to mind when thinking about Kathy McGregor – dedicated, kind, empathetic, committed, even hero. She has been all of those things to PAWS over this last year. Kathy came to us as our pack leader in the fall of 2019; she organized and built our pack walk team into what it is today. Not only did she lead our walkers, she taught volunteer orientation, performed home checks for new adopters and fosters, followed up with adoption families, and did assessments of dogs coming from HSPPR to PAWS. She has given of her time and talents willingly, and has helped with whatever was needed of her.
Kathy travels all the way from Canon City. She has enlisted the help of some of her family and friends from Canon and other places around our area. They have all been great additions to our volunteer
She has taught our volunteers a lot about dog behavior, dog handling, and how to remain calm when we encounter different situations out on the trail. She has spent hours with timid and frightened dogs until they learn to trust people. She is compassionate with our animals and all those she meets, and has made a difference in so many lives. Kathy has been a bright light at PAWS, and we are so grateful she is a part of our team!
Jeremy has been a PAWS volunteer since mid-2020. He remains dedicated to fixing and maintaining our buildings and landscape while spending time with the animals at the shelter or chipping in when extra hands are needed. He is handy to have around and we continue to appreciate the hours he spends at PAWS. Thank you for your gift of time Jeremy, it is priceless!
They say angels walk amongst us, and if you have ever met some of the volunteers at PAWS, you would definitely agree. One of those “angels” is Diane Cullin. She has selflessly donated her time and energy
to PAWS every day for many years, cleaning kennels, socializing fearful animals, walking dogs on packwalk, and doing anything and everything that needed to be done! In our daily shelter operations, Diane is always there; when a new dog is scared and just needs a kind hand, Diane is there; when pack walkers need some help with dog handling, Diane is there. She has always been the one that PAWS has relied on to be there.
The phrase “we couldn’t do it without you” sums up our admiration for Diane. She has stayed with us through the good and the bad times, and there is just no way we could ever thank her enough. We feel very fortunate to have Diane as a member of our PAWS family, and we look forward to a new year working with our “angel”, Diane!
Our Heartfelt Thanks to All of Our Volunteers
Thank you to the many volunteers coming into our PAWS shelter every day to help care for our wonderful pets in waiting. Also, thank you to those who help with our fundraising, BIngo, Adoptathons, and who foster many of our pets in waiting.You are truly a blessing to our organization and we would be unable to function without you!
There are many different volunteer opportunities at PAWS for Life. You can work hands-on with our pets, join our Saturday and Tuesday Packwalks, or even volunteer from home!
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering at PAWS, please email Whitney at email@example.com or call (719) 543-6464.
PAWS Foster Program
Are you interested in fostering a pet and giving them a loving temporary home while they’re waiting to be adopted? Fostering is a rewarding and enriching experience and a great opportunity for families or individuals who love animals but cannot commit to having a full-time pet.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (719) 543-6464 to learn more.
Our Community is PAWsome!
Thank you once again to Jim, Jody, and Rowdy Jennings, for putting together the "Fill The Truck" pet food donation event. The Jennings family generously donated a 32" TV for the lucky winner all to benefit PAWS for Life. This year the Jennings family collected over 600 lbs of pet food and more than $160.00 in cash donations. You guys are the best!
Shout out to John Trujillo and Power IT Computer Services for donating hours of IT services at PAWS this fall.
Cathy Anthony is a PAWS volunteer who not only spends every Thursday helping Dee in the office and organizing files, but she also shows up every weekend to work with Jr. volunteer T.J. and the kitties. Cathy recently saw the need for a better washer at PAWS. Newer donated washers are hard to come by, so Cathy started searching for other options. She soon came across a man by the name of Josh Frost on Facebook, who refurbishes washers. Cathy reached out to Josh about PAWS and our need for a washer. Without hesitation, Josh offered to donate and deliver two washers. We are so grateful to Josh and Cathy and are overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity.
We would like to thank our very own Kitty Angel Claudine McAlpin. Claudine not only adopted one of our kittens (Bast), she also sponsored the adoption fees of some of our longtime feline residents. Within a month's time and without any sponsorship promotion, Seamus, Freya and Freea all found forever homes. Claudine continues to support our shelter kitties by donating food and other needed items to our cattery.
We are so grateful to our friends at Paw Spa. Some of our animals come to us needing a little extra loving care (and a haircut) and Cathy never hesitates to squeeze them in. This act of kindness helps get our shelter pups ready for adoption and closer to finding forever homes. No wonder they were voted Best of Pueblo Groomer 2 years in a row!
Adoption Success Stories!
Feral Daryl lived several years outside PAWS greeting our visitors with his mighty "meow", but always made sure to keep his distance. After several failed attempts, assistant manager Whitney was able to scoop up Daryl and get him safely inside the shelter. After a checkup and dental, Daryl was ready to find his forever family. Not long after Daryl's picture was posted on our website, a very kind family reached out and knew Daryl was the kitty for them.
Daryl's new family reports that he is doing great and is such a sweetheart. He is also getting along well with the other cat and their dog! We are so happy for Daryl and couldn't have asked for a better outcome.
Rusti's (now Honey) Journey
Rusti was brought into HSPPR Pueblo as a stray. After a thorough exam and evaluation, the staff at HSPPR knew that Rusti would need extensive time and attention and reached out to PAWS to see if she would be the right candidate for our program. After meeting Rusti, we knew we had to do whatever we could to help this gentle soul and arrangements were made to transfer her to PAWS.
Because of Rusti's anxiety and the uncertainty of not knowing what she had gone through, we knew we would have to find Rusti the perfect family. Four months after Rusti became a PAWS resident, a wonderful couple came to see what dogs we had available for adoption. After meeting Rusti, they immediately knew she was their new family member. Carla even left in tears after hearing Rusti's story.
Rusti, now Honey Girl, is doing so great!! She is a completely different dog, and they can't believe how quickly she settled into her new home. She is friendly with other dogs and people, and they even take her to the dog park! Honey Girl enjoys playing in the house and loves her Sealy Posturepedic dog bed that they ordered specially for her. They said she even “talks” and “smiles,” showing her teeth! She is doing fabulously, and they love her. Her owner said they knew she was the dog for them!!
23rd Annual Sandra Young GOLF TOURNAMENT
Thank you to everyone who made our 23rd annual Sandra Young Memorial Golf Tournament such a success. Special thanks to Nancy DeWitt, who dedicated countless hours organizing all of the tedious paperwork and keeping us on task.
We would also like to thank our generous sponsors:
Top Dog-DD Marketing Inc
Top Dog- Jim, Jody & Rowdy Jennings
Top Dog- Show us your Tints (donated all of the sponsor signs)
Pet Lovers- Re/Max of Pueblo
Pet Lovers-Capstone Title
Pet-Lovers-Pueblo Web Design
Pet Lovers- John Linck
In-Kind- Land Title
In-Kind- Stewart Title
In-Kind- Fidelity Title
In-Kind- American Dream Mortgage
In-Kind -Chris & Merrilee Laesch (donated gun case)
This great event would not be possible without the support of the players who make each year so much fun!
Thank you to ColoradoTap Room for inviting PAWS for Life to be their featured local Non Profit at their Mesa Junction BLOCK PARTY!.
Ace at Alter Ego Gallery kindly invited us to have a complimentary booth at their Comic-Con Convention. Super Gemma did a great job representing PAWS and her shelter buddies looking for a forever home. Thank you Ace!
Thank you to Kim DeJoy and the DiSanti family for inviting us to have a booth at their Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair. They know that Covid has hit us hard and our ability to hold events. We enjoyed meeting so many PAWS supporters and their families. Cooper and Chooch has a great time as well. Thank you Kim and family!
PAWS For Life ONLINE SILENT AUCTION!
We would like to express our gratitude to our friends and supporters who sponsored, donated and participated in our PAWS & Give Thanks virtual online auction. The funds raised will go towards our recent influx of unexpected medical expenses. We are forever grateful!
To our 2020 Memorials and Donors
Thank you! During this time of uncertainty, we've been humbled and encouraged by your support and generosity.
We have recently invested in a new donor management system and will be issuing a special edition newsletter with donors and memorials once the system integration is complete. It’s not too late to submit a memorial for a loved one or a special pet that has crossed over Rainbow Bridge.
Exciting Happenings in 2020!
Thank you to reporter Natalie Chuck at KOAA for stopping by PAWS to do a story on the increase in adoptions during COVID-19. She even got to have a little bit of pup fun while she was there!
OUR AMAZING TEAM
The job of our staff can be difficult at times and yet the compassion and care for our shelter animals is unwavering. We would like to thank and recognize our staff for all of their hard work and dedication.
Our Contact Information
PAWS for Life’s mission is to help lost or unwanted animals; to return lost ones to their owners whenever possible or after having them spayed or neutered, place them in good homes; and to educate the public about intelligent and humane treatment of animals.