Aspen Animal Shelter community event Sunday to help Lake Christine Fire victims | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Animal Shelter community event Sunday to help Lake Christine Fire victims

Staff report

In its ongoing effort to again celebrate community and dogs, the fourth annual Dog Day Afternoon carnival and festival is Sunday and this year will help those affected by the wildfire.

The event was set for July 8 but rescheduled after the Lake Christine Fire broke out near Basalt. This year, Aspen Animal Shelter executive director Seth Sachson said all of the money raised this weekend will go to those affected by the Lake Christine Fire, which started July 3 and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated.

"We are giving the proceeds to the Aspen Community Foundation to help the victims of the fire," Sachson said. "It all makes sense. After we get past cats and dogs, this event really is all about community. It's all people having fun and coming together to have fun as a community, and the dogs and cats are icing on the cake."

The carnival, which is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is open to the public and their dogs. There will be free food and drinks from Aspen-area restaurants, live music, trucks from the Fire Department, a dunk tank, bounce house, dog wash and more. Shelter dogs also will be up for adoption.

All of the activities are free. Representatives of the Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter will be on hand and running the event. The a nonprofit organization helps the for-profit shelter with a couple of key programs — providing veterinary care for the stray dogs that the shelter rescues and adopts out, and spaying and neutering cats and dogs.

"In the last three years we have had up to 1,000 people throughout the day," Sachson said. "For me, it reminds a lot of the old times when people gather together and just hung out and had fun, from kids to seniors in the community. It's got a good vibe, and it's our way of giving back to the community for helping support the homeless pets in the area."

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Tents and events will be set up in the shelter's main parking area, and there is parking by the shelter in the snow-removal lot. Also, free dog-friendly shuttles will be running nonstop from the Gondola Plaza in Aspen and the Intercept Lot at Highway 82 and Brush Creek Drive.

For more information, go to dogsaspen.com or call the shelter at 970-544-0206.