Aspen Animal Shelter flooded with calls about discarded felines |

Aspen Animal Shelter flooded with calls about discarded felines

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Seth Sachson

ASPEN – A great outpouring of support and sympathy hit the Aspen Animal Shelter on Monday following Sunday’s newspaper report about the 23 cats and kittens left anonymously on the facility’s doorstep a day earlier.

“It’s been crazy over here,” said Seth Sachson, the shelter’s executive director. “The phone is ringing off the hook and e-mails have been flowing all day. It’s really special and overwhelming. Something like this happens about once a year. It’s injected me with enthusiasm for living in the Roaring Fork Valley.”

Sachson said four cats were adopted Monday by two different people. He had issued a plea for community assistance because of Saturday’s 23 unexpected additions to the shelter’s existing population of about around 30 cats and kittens. Previously, he thought the total number of cats and kittens was around 40 – 23 new ones plus around 17 adoptable felines – but it turns out that many more already were housed there.

He expects more cats to be adopted this week to help make room for the newbies. Many people are inquiring about taking home the discarded cats and kittens, who are receiving medical attention and are not quite ready for homes.

“You’re helping the cause equally by helping one of these adoptable animals,” Sachson said.

Dawn Storm of Basalt adopted two cats Monday. They will serve as mousers near her honey-making operation, the Wild Bear Bee Farm. Both cats are fairly old; one is feral and the other is tame.

“They are both huge males,” Storm said. “We’re calling them Carmello and Con.”

She said she was moved to adopt the cats after reading how someone dumped the felines at the shelter sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning. They were housed inside six wooden crates, dirty and in need of medical treatment.

Her 12-year-old son accompanied her to the shelter and fell in love with one of the adoptable kittens. He’s thinking long and hard about taking it, but will have to pay the fees out of his own pocket, Storm said.

Sachson said it will be at least another week before the new arrivals are adoptable. A veterinarian has examined them. The kittens are receiving medicine for upper respiratory ailments. The cats are in fairly good health, but the shelter does not officially “own” them until eight days have passed from their arrival date. Most of the adults are feral, which means they are somewhat wild.

He said finding out who dropped them off is not a primary concern, but it would help so that shelter staff will know more about their histories in order to give them proper care.

The shelter staff has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping the 11 older cats and 12 kittens discarded over the weekend, as well as the felines who were already adoptable. Sachson praised all of the workers, but also singled out one employee who was supposed to be off Tuesday to celebrate his birthday, but wanted to stay and help instead.

“We’re going to take good care of them and find them new homes,” he said.

Sachson is asking the community for more help by adopting one or more of the felines, which helps to alleviate shelter overcrowding and provides good homes for the cats as well. For more information about adopting one of the shelter’s cats or kittens, call (970) 544-0206 or send an e-mail to

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