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Animal hospital event benefits rescue groups

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

EL JEBEL – Alpine Animal Hospital in the midvalley could have just thrown a party to celebrate the opening of its 10,400-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.

Instead, the veterinarians and other workers there are throwing a party and raising funds on Saturday for three animal rescue organizations: Aspen Valley Horse Rescue, Animal Rescue Foundation of Colorado, and Colorado Animal Rescue.

“This is a good way to get some additional financial support for them,” said Chuck Maker, a veterinarian who worked with his colleagues at Alpine Animal Hospital to organize the event.

The grand-opening celebration features a barbecue and a veterinary services fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the facility, about a mile downvalley from El Jebel on old Highway 82, now a frontage road.

In addition to the party, there will be a vendor fair with at least 15 companies sending experts to discuss everything from stem-cell procedures available at a lab in Fort Collins to pet nutrition. Maker said 18 companies that Alpine Animal Hospital works with have made cash pledges or contributions to the event. So far, he has collected $3,500 in corporate sponsorships. He expects that to grow to $4,000. Additional funds will be raised in a silent auction featuring equine and pet products and services provided by local businesses, he said. All proceeds of the event will go to the three nonprofit animal rescue operations.

Aspen Valley Horse Rescue has saved about 200 horses since last fall. Ranchers in North Dakota and Alberta, Canada, could no longer care for the animals because of economic conditions.

Animal Rescue Foundation of Colorado saves the lives of as many abused, neglected, needy, abandoned or surrendered pets as possible. It has a no-kill guarantee and has found families for 600 animals in the last six years.

Colorado Animal Rescue, or CARE, focuses on saving dogs and cats in Garfield County. CARE has taken in and placed more than 6,300 dogs, cats and exotic pets since its shelter opened.

Representatives of each of the organizations will be at the fair to share more information about their missions. The event will be family friendly, and door prizes will be awarded throughout the day, Maker said.

Alpine Animal Hospital staff will offer tours of their new building, which has facilities for diagnostics, lab work, treatment and surgery. The animal hospital, which more than doubled its former space of 4,500 square feet, now has facilities for treatment of both horses and small animals. Maker said one of the new facility’s biggest advances are cameras that allow pet owners to log on to their computers at home and view live shots of their pets at the hospital. Leaving a pet at the hospital can be a stressful time, so checking in from a remote site can be reassuring, he said.

The hospital can be reached at 963-2371 for more information about Saturday’s event.


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